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Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects

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  • Bruce D. Meyer
  • Dan T. Rosenbaum

Abstract

We describe the enormous changes in social and tax policy in recent years that have encouraged work by single mothers. We document the changes in federal and state income taxes, AFDC and Food Stamp benefits, Medicaid, training and child care programs. We describe the quantitative importance of these changes and their timing. We also describe how these changes differed across states and show how they affected families with different numbers and ages of children and with different family incomes. We then examine whether the changes in employment rates over time for different demographic groups and states are consistent with a causal effect of these policies on employment. We use multiple comparison groups and two datasets over a long time period. The results support the more structural findings in Meyer and Rosenbaum (1999a) of substantial EITC effects on employment as well as the findings in Eissa and Liebman (1996) and Ellwood (1999).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7491.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as Meyer, Bruce D. and Dan T. Rosenbaum. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001, v116(3,Aug), 1063-1114.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7491

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  1. 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.
  2. Nada Eissa & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Public Economics, EconWPA 9912001, EconWPA.
  3. Farber, Henry S. & Levy, Helen, 2000. "Recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage: are bad jobs getting worse?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 93-119, January.
  4. V. Joseph Hotz & John Karl Scholz, 2001. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 8078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David T. Ellwood, 1999. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 124, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  7. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1995. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 5158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  9. Rebecca M. Blank, 1997. "Policy Watch: The 1996 Welfare Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 169-177, Winter.
  10. 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, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
  11. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 5082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Danziger, Sheldon & Haveman, Robert & Plotnick, Robert, 1981. "How Income Transfer Programs Affect Work, Savings, and the Income Distribution: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 975-1028, September.
  13. repec:fth:prinin:402 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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.
  15. Janet Currie & Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1999. "Health Insurance and Less Skilled Workers," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 63, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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