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Using the EITC to Help Poor Families: New Evidence and a Comparision with the Minimum Wage

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  • David Neumark
  • William Wascher

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of the earned income tax credit (EITC) on poor families. Exploiting state-level variation in EITCs, we find that the EITC helps families rise above poverty-level earnings. This occurs by inducing labor market entry in families that initially do not have an adult in the workforce. Evidence based on the federal EITC is less supportive of a positive impact of the EITC on poor families. Finally, our results suggest that for the range of policy changes typical of recent history in the U.S., the EITC is more beneficial for poor families than is the minimum wage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7599.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
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Publication status: published as Neumark, David and William Wascher. "State-Level Estimates Of Minimum Wage Effects: New Evidence And Interpretations From Disequilibrium Methods," Journal of Human Resources, 2002, v37(1,Winter), 35-62.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7599

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  1. 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.
  2. Rebecca M. Blank & David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1999. "Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low- Income Families," HEW 9902002, EconWPA.
  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. Lisa Barrow & Leslie McGranahan, 1999. "The earned income credit and durable goods purchase," Working Paper Series WP-99-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 1998. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Non-Parametric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Nada Eissa & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Public Economics 9912001, EconWPA.
  8. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," NBER Working Papers 7491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2002. "Do Minimum Wages Fight Poverty?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(3), pages 315-333, July.
  10. R. V. Burkhauser & K. A. Couch & A. J. Glenn, . "Public policies for the working poor: The earned income tax credit versus minimum wage legislation," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1074-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  11. V. Joseph Hotz, 2003. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 141-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Saul D. Hoffman & Laurence S. Seidman, 1990. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number eitc.
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