Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers
AbstractDuring 1984-96, welfare and tax policy changed dramatically. The Earned Income Tax Credit was expanded, welfare benefits were cut, welfare time limits were added and cases were terminated, Medicaid for the working poor was expanded, training programs were redirected, and subsidized or free child care was expanded. Many of the program changes were intended to encourage low income women to work. During this same time period there were unprecedented increases in the employment and hours of single mothers, particularly those with young children. In this paper, we first document these large changes in policies and employment. We then examine if the policy changes are the reason for the large increases in single mothers' labor supply. We find evidence that a large share of the increase in work by single mothers can be attributed to the EITC, with smaller shares for welfare benefit reductions, welfare waivers, changes in training programs, and child care expansions. We also find that most of these policies increased hours worked. Our results indicate that financial incentives through the tax and welfare systems have substantial effects on single mothers' labor supply decisions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7363.
Date of creation: Sep 1999
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Note: LS PE CH
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Other versions of this item:
- Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
- Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1998. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," JCPR Working Papers 32, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-11-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-1999-11-15 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAB-1999-11-08 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-PBE-1999-11-08 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-1999-11-15 (Public Finance)
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