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The Effects of EITC Payment Expansion on Maternal Smoking

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  • Averett, Susan L.

    ()
    (Lafayette College)

  • Wang, Yang

    ()
    (Lafayette College)

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    Abstract

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the U.S. In 1993, the EITC benefit levels were changed significantly based on the number of children in the family such that families with two or more children experienced an exogenous expansion in their incomes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort, we employ a triple differences plus Fixed-Effects framework to examine the effect of this change on the probability of smoking among low-educated mothers. We find that the probability of smoking for white and Hispanic low-educated mothers of two or more children decreased statistically significantly relative to those with only one child, and the results are robust to various specification tests. These results provide new evidence on the protective effect of income on health through changes in health behaviors, and therefore have important policy implications.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6680.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: forthcoming in: Health Economics
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6680

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    Keywords: EITC; low-income mothers; smoking;

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    1. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," Working Papers, RAND Corporation Publications Department 102-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    2. Cancian, Maria & Levinson, Arik, 2006. "Labor Supply Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit: Evidence from Wisconsin's Supplemental Benefit for Families with Three Children," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 781-800, December.
    3. Cristina Yunzal-Butler & Theodore J. Joyce & Andrew D. Racine, 2009. "Maternal Smoking and the Timing of WIC Enrollment," NBER Working Papers 14728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mary Beth Walker & Erdal Tekin & Sally Wallace, 2009. "Teen Smoking and Birth Outcomes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 892–907, January.
    5. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin, 2009. "The earned income tax credit and fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 537-563, July.
    6. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294.
    7. DeCicca, Philip & Kenkel, Don & Mathios, Alan, 2008. "Cigarette taxes and the transition from youth to adult smoking: Smoking initiation, cessation, and participation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 904-917, July.
    8. Wasserman, Jeffrey & Manning, Willard G. & Newhouse, Joseph P. & Winkler, John D., 1991. "The effects of excise taxes and regulations on cigarette smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 43-64, May.
    9. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Wechsler, Henry, 1997. "Price, tobacco control policies and smoking among young adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 359-373, June.
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