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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. N. Eissa & H. W. Hoynes, . "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1194-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hilary W. Hoynes & Nada Elissa, 2005. "Behavioral Responses to Taxes:Lessons from the EITC and Labor Supply," Working Papers, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics 529, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    2. 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, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 836-842.
    3. Congdon, William J. & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2009. "Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, National Tax Association, vol. 62(3), pages 375-86, September.
    4. 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, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1509-1530, June.
    5. Tiefenthaler, Jill & Simpson, Nicole & Hyde, Jameson, 2008. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Economic Well-being: A Comparison across Household Types," Working Papers, Department of Economics, Colgate University 2008-02, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
    6. Mike Brewer, 2000. "Comparing in-work benefits and financial work incentives for low-income families in the US and the UK," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W00/16, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. 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, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 409-425, November.
    8. 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, Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC) 18912, Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC).
    9. Nicole Simpson & Devin Reilly & Kartik Athreya, 2010. "The Earned Income Tax Credit: Insurance Without Disincentives?," 2010 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 1103, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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