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The EITC: Expectation, Knowledge, Use, and Economic and Social Mobility

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  • Smeeding, Timothy M.
  • Phillips, Katherin Ross
  • O’Connor, Michael
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    Abstract

    This paper presents our findings on the knowledge and use of the 1997 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) based on a sample of Chicago area households, with children, that filed tax returns in the winter and spring of 1998. Respondents reported in detail about using their federal tax refunds (including the EITC) to pay bills, purchase new items, or save. Data were also gathered on respondents’ prior knowledge of the EITC and their ability to make particular expenditures without the help of the EITC. Uses of the EITC are divided into those that improve economic and social mobility (e.g., purchase a car, pay tuition, change residence) and those that primarily help to make ends meet (e.g., pay routine bills, purchase food). This is among the first papers to address these issues, despite the fact that the EITC is our largest refundable tax credit program targeted at low-income families.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2000)
    Issue (Month): n. 4 (December)
    Pages: 1187-210

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    Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:53:y:2000:i:n._4:p:1187-210

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    1. J. Gruber & A. Yelowitz, . "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1135-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1999. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1024b9z8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nada Eissa & Hilary Hoynes, 2005. "Behavioral Responses to Taxes: Lessons from the EITC and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 11729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nicole Simpson & Jill Tiefenthaler & Jameson Hyde, 2010. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Economic Well-Being: A Comparison Across Household Types," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(6), pages 843-864, December.
    3. Hirasuna, Donald P. & Stinson, Thomas F., 2004. "Urban And Rural Differences In Utilization Of State Earned Income Tax Credit Programs: Minnesota'S Experience," Working Papers 18912, Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC).
    4. Manturuk, Kim & Dorrance, Jessica & Riley, Sarah, 2012. "Factors affecting completion of a matched savings program: Impacts of time preference, discount rate, and financial hardship," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 836-842.
    5. Brady-Smith, Christy & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne & Waldfogel, Jane & Fauth, Rebecca, 2001. "Work or welfare? Assessing the impacts of recent employment and policy changes on very young children," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 409-425, November.
    6. Mills, Gregory & Gale, William G. & Patterson, Rhiannon & Engelhardt, Gary V. & Eriksen, Michael D. & Apostolov, Emil, 2008. "Effects of individual development accounts on asset purchases and saving behavior: Evidence from a controlled experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1509-1530, June.
    7. Nicole Simpson & Devin Reilly & Kartik Athreya, 2010. "The Earned Income Tax Credit: Insurance Without Disincentives?," 2010 Meeting Papers 1103, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. William Congdon & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2009. "Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy," NBER Working Papers 15328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mike Brewer, 2000. "Comparing in-work benefits and financial work incentives for low-income families in the US and the UK," IFS Working Papers W00/16, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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