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Death and taxes: Child health and the state tax freedom race

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  • MacKenzie, Michael J.
  • Tucker, David J.
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    Abstract

    Each year the Tax Foundation releases rankings of U.S. states on time to Tax Freedom, or the day that the average taxpayer has met their tax burden. The current analysis sought to contextualize the tax freedom day rankings, by examining the association between state tax burden and key indicators of child wellbeing. The 2009 measure of days to tax freedom by state was correlated with ten key indicators of child wellbeing from the Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT 2009 data. Each of the wellbeing indicators and the overall composite wellbeing rankings were also regressed on days to Tax Freedom and Gross State Product. As the days to tax freedom decrease, indicating a lighter tax burden, all of the following increase significantly -- the infant mortality rate, child and teen death rates, teen birth rate, rates of school dropout and disconnected youth, and numbers of children in poverty. These findings all held even after controlling for Gross State Product. Public attitudes and choices about paying taxes have important consequences for the health of children in our society. The broad appeal of Tax Freedom Day highlights a disconnect between the act of paying taxes and recognition of the benefits to children those taxes provide.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 1803-1806

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:12:p:1803-1806

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    Related research

    Keywords: Infant mortality Child death rate Disconnected youth Taxation Tax freedom day;

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    1. Chung, Haejoo & Muntaner, Carles, 2006. "Political and welfare state determinants of infant and child health indicators: An analysis of wealthy countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 829-842, August.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Working Papers 178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Sheila B. Kamerman & Michelle Neuman & Jane Waldfogel & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2003. "Social Policies, Family Types and Child Outcomes in Selected OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 6, OECD Publishing.
    4. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-96, December.
    5. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000283, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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