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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Boyd-Swan, Casey; Herbst, Chris M.; Ifcher, John; Zarghamee, Homa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This paper contributes to the small but growing literature evaluating the health effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In particular, we use data from the National Survey of Families and Households to study the impact of the 1990 federal EITC expansion on several outcomes related to mental health and subjective well-being. The identification strategy relies on a difference-in-differences framework to estimate intent-to-treat effects for the post-reform period. Our results suggest that the 1990 EITC reform generated sizeable health benefits for low-skilled mothers. Such women experienced lower depression symptomatology, an increase in self-reported happiness, and improved self-efficacy relative to their childless counterparts. Consistent with previous work, we find that married mothers captured most of the health benefits, with unmarried mothers' health changing very little following the 1990 EITC reform. (author abstract)

    This paper contributes to the small but growing literature evaluating the health effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In particular, we use data from the National Survey of Families and Households to study the impact of the 1990 federal EITC expansion on several outcomes related to mental health and subjective well-being. The identification strategy relies on a difference-in-differences framework to estimate intent-to-treat effects for the post-reform period. Our results suggest that the 1990 EITC reform generated sizeable health benefits for low-skilled mothers. Such women experienced lower depression symptomatology, an increase in self-reported happiness, and improved self-efficacy relative to their childless counterparts. Consistent with previous work, we find that married mothers captured most of the health benefits, with unmarried mothers' health changing very little following the 1990 EITC reform. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chaney, Cassandra
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Since the 1960s an increasing number of Black children are reared by poor unmarried parents on welfare. To reduce poverty, minimize welfare dependence, and provide a monetary incentive for low-income, unmarried parents to wed, the government established the earned income tax credit (EITC). Since its establishment in 1975, however, scholars know very little about whether this credit can increase Black marriage among low-income couples with children. To address this paucity, I support and extend Mayhew's (1980, 1981) micro-sociological and macro-sociological perspectives by highlighting the individual, interpersonal, and sociological factors that encourage or discourage Black marriage. I examined the qualitative responses of 17 Blacks between the ages of 23 and 61 years regarding whether they believed an increased child dependent tax credit (limited to married parents) would increase the number of married parent Black families. Qualitative analyses of the data revealed that although some participants were hopeful that the EITC could increase the number of Black marriages, most did...

    Since the 1960s an increasing number of Black children are reared by poor unmarried parents on welfare. To reduce poverty, minimize welfare dependence, and provide a monetary incentive for low-income, unmarried parents to wed, the government established the earned income tax credit (EITC). Since its establishment in 1975, however, scholars know very little about whether this credit can increase Black marriage among low-income couples with children. To address this paucity, I support and extend Mayhew's (1980, 1981) micro-sociological and macro-sociological perspectives by highlighting the individual, interpersonal, and sociological factors that encourage or discourage Black marriage. I examined the qualitative responses of 17 Blacks between the ages of 23 and 61 years regarding whether they believed an increased child dependent tax credit (limited to married parents) would increase the number of married parent Black families. Qualitative analyses of the data revealed that although some participants were hopeful that the EITC could increase the number of Black marriages, most did not believe the EITC would substantially increase the number of Black marriages because the credit fails to address the intrinsic value of marriage. Supporting qualitative data are presented in connection with each theme. Practical and policy implications for Black marriage are also discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hirasuna, Donald; Stinson, Thomas
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    This paper examines utilization rates of Minnesota’s earned income tax credit program by households on welfare from 1992 through 1999. We examine urban and rural differences in the rate of filing an income tax return and receiving the earned income tax credit. Tabulations show that urban areas have the lowest utilization rates, but are catching up in both income tax filing rates and earned income credit receipt rates. Regression analyses identify correlates to urban-rural differences. A modeling exercise examines how urban and rural households might respond to a 10 percent increase in the credit. Finally, policy suggestions are offered, which are relevant to urban and rural areas and are appropriate for other states. (author abstract)

    This paper examines utilization rates of Minnesota’s earned income tax credit program by households on welfare from 1992 through 1999. We examine urban and rural differences in the rate of filing an income tax return and receiving the earned income tax credit. Tabulations show that urban areas have the lowest utilization rates, but are catching up in both income tax filing rates and earned income credit receipt rates. Regression analyses identify correlates to urban-rural differences. A modeling exercise examines how urban and rural households might respond to a 10 percent increase in the credit. Finally, policy suggestions are offered, which are relevant to urban and rural areas and are appropriate for other states. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ackerman, Deena; Holtzblatt, Janet; Masken, Karen
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2009

    The earned income tax credit (EITC) was enacted nearly 35 years ago. One goal of the EITC is to encourage people to work, while another is to lift families out of poverty. Yet little is known about the long-term effects of the credit on recipients due to data limitations.1 This paper introduces a new data set that contains the tax records of over 60 million individuals who claimed or received the EITC between 2000 and 2006. The panel follows those individuals over the 7-year period and should provide new insight into how people respond to the credit over time. This paper is largely descriptive, laying the foundation for future research that could explore some of the long-term effects of the EITC. Using the new panel data set, we examine how the incidence and duration of EITC receipt change over time and the reasons for those changes— focusing particularly on the impact of changes in family structure and income over the period. (author abstract)

    The earned income tax credit (EITC) was enacted nearly 35 years ago. One goal of the EITC is to encourage people to work, while another is to lift families out of poverty. Yet little is known about the long-term effects of the credit on recipients due to data limitations.1 This paper introduces a new data set that contains the tax records of over 60 million individuals who claimed or received the EITC between 2000 and 2006. The panel follows those individuals over the 7-year period and should provide new insight into how people respond to the credit over time. This paper is largely descriptive, laying the foundation for future research that could explore some of the long-term effects of the EITC. Using the new panel data set, we examine how the incidence and duration of EITC receipt change over time and the reasons for those changes— focusing particularly on the impact of changes in family structure and income over the period. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scott, Christine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) began in 1975 as a temporary program to return a portion of the Social Security taxes paid by lower income taxpayers, and was made permanent in 1978. In the 1990s, the program became a
    major component of federal efforts to reduce poverty, and is now the largest antipoverty entitlement program. Childless adults in 2004 received an average EITC of $218, families with one child received an average EITC of $1,728, and families with two or more children received an average EITC of $2,669. A low-income worker must file an annual income tax return to receive the EITC and meet certain requirements for income and age. A tax filer cannot be a dependent of another tax filer and must be a resident of the United States unless overseas because of military duty. The EITC is based on income and whether the tax filer has a qualifying child.
    
    The EITC interacts with several nonrefundable federal tax credits to the extent lower income workers can utilize the credits to reduce tax liability before the EITC....

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) began in 1975 as a temporary program to return a portion of the Social Security taxes paid by lower income taxpayers, and was made permanent in 1978. In the 1990s, the program became a
    major component of federal efforts to reduce poverty, and is now the largest antipoverty entitlement program. Childless adults in 2004 received an average EITC of $218, families with one child received an average EITC of $1,728, and families with two or more children received an average EITC of $2,669. A low-income worker must file an annual income tax return to receive the EITC and meet certain requirements for income and age. A tax filer cannot be a dependent of another tax filer and must be a resident of the United States unless overseas because of military duty. The EITC is based on income and whether the tax filer has a qualifying child.
    
    The EITC interacts with several nonrefundable federal tax credits to the extent lower income workers can utilize the credits to reduce tax liability before the EITC. Income from the credit is not used to determine eligibility or benefits for means tested programs. However, 18 states and the District of Columbia now offer an EITC for state taxes, and most of them are based on the federal EITC. Any change in the federal EITC would flow down to impact the state EITC. Policy issues for the EITC, which reflect either the structure, impact, or administration of the credit include the work incentive effects of the credit; the marriage penalty for couples filing joint tax returns; the anti-poverty effectiveness of the credit (primarily a family size issue); and potential abuse (i.e., compliance with credit law and regulations). The National Taxpayer Advocate heads an independent program within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to handle taxpayer problems not resolved through normal channels, and to identify issues that create problems for taxpayers. As part of identifying problems for taxpayers, the National Taxpayer Advocate prepares a report each year to Congress summarizing at least 20 of the most serious problems faced by taxpayers with recommendations to resolve the problems. In the reports for 2002 through 2005, EITC related problems have been included among the “most serious problems.” In the 2006 report, while the EITC was not listed as a specific problem, concerns about the EITC and low-income taxpayers are components of some of the “more serious problems.” This report will be updated annually. (author abstract)

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