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Redistribution and Tax Expenditures: The Earned Income Tax Credit

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  • Nada Eissa
  • Hilary Hoynes

Abstract

This paper examines the distributional and behavioral effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). We chart the growth of the program over time, and argue several expansions show that real responses to taxes are important. We use tax data to show the distribution of benefits by income and family size, and examine the impacts of hypothetical reforms (expansions and contractions) to the credit. Finally, we calculate the efficiency effects of marginal changes to EITC parameters. Targeting the EITC to lower-income families by raising the phase-out rate generates a welfare loss for single mothers, primarily because of the disincentive to enter the labor market and not the traditional hours-of-work distortion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14307.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Publication status: published as Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary, 2011. "Redistribution And Tax Expenditures: The Earned Income Tax Credit," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 689-729, June Cita.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14307

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References

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  1. V. Joseph Hotz & John Karl Scholz, 2001. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 8078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stacy Dickert & Scott Houser & John Karl Scholz, 1995. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and Transfer Programs: A Study of Labor Market and Program Participation," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 1-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eissa, Nada & Liebman, Jeffrey B, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-37, May.
  4. Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 180-212, August.
  5. Nada Eissa & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner, 2004. "Evaluation of Four Tax Reforms in the United States: Labor Supply and Welfare Effects for Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 10935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Incentives and Income Distribution," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 83-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006. "The marginal cost of public funds: Hours of work versus labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1955-1973, November.
  8. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
  9. Feenberg, Daniel R. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1995. "Recent Developments in the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(1), pages 91-101, March.
  10. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Juhn, Chinhui, 1992. "Decline of Male Labor Market Participation: The Role of Declining Market Opportunities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 79-121, February.
  13. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1063-1106, December.
  14. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," JCPR Working Papers 152, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  15. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1027-62, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jesse Rothstein, 2009. "Is the EITC Equivalent to an NIT? Conditional Cash Transfers and Tax Incidence," NBER Working Papers 14966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nathaniel Hendren, 2013. "The Policy Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 19177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. De Luca, Giuseppe & Rossetti, Claudio & Vuri, Daniela, 2012. "In-Work Benefits for Married Couples: An Ex-Ante Evaluation of EITC and WTC Policies in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 6739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Immervoll, Herwig & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2011. "Tax Policy and Income Inequality in the U.S., 1978-2009: A Decomposition Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 5910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Immervoll, Herwig & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2013. "Partisan Tax Policy and Income Inequality in the U.S., 1979-2007," IZA Discussion Papers 7190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Comparing Inequality Aversion across Countries When Labor Supply Responses Differ," AMSE Working Papers 1323, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  7. John Schmitt, 2012. "Low-wage Lessons," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2012-03, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  8. Aaberge, Rolf & Flood, Lennart, 2013. "U.S. versus Sweden: The Effect of Alternative In-Work Tax Credit Policies on Labour Supply of Single Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 7706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. repec:ese:emodwp:em4-09 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Claudio A Agostini & Marcela Perticara & Javiera Selman, 2012. "Una Propuesta de Crédito Tributario al Ingreso para Chile," Working Papers wp_021, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
  11. Simpson, Nicole B., 2013. "Families, Taxes and the Welfare System," IZA Discussion Papers 7369, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Gunter, Samara, 2013. "State Earned Income Tax Credits And Participation In Regular And Informal Work," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(1), pages 33-62, March.
  13. Artheya, Kartik & Reilly, Devin & Simpson, Nicole B., 2014. "Single Mothers and the Earned Income Tax Credit: Insurance Without Disincentives?," Working Paper 14-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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