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The Unintended Consequences of Encouraging Work: Tax Incidence and the EITC

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  • Jesse Rothstein

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Abstract

The EITC is designed to encourage work. But EITC-induced increases in labor supply may drive wages down, shifting the intended transfer toward employers and hurting non- EITC low-skill workers. I exploit variation across family types and skill levels to identify the eect of a large EITC expansion in the mid 1990s. Ceteris paribus, low-skill single mothers keep only $0.70 of every dollar they receive. Employers of low-skill labor capture $0.72, $0.30 from single mothers plus $0.43 from ineligible workers whose after-tax incomes fall when the EITC is expanded. The net transfer to low-skill workers is less than $0.28 per dollar spent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1049.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:165rothstein

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  1. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," NBER Working Papers 10549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  3. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
  4. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Tonin, Mirco, 2010. "In-work benefits and unemployment," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 80217, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  2. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2007. "Does a Higher Minimum Wage Enhance the Effectiveness of The Earned Income Tax Credit?," NBER Working Papers 12915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeannette Wicks-Lim & Jeffrey Thompson, 2010. "Combining Minimum Wage and Earned Income Tax Credit Policies to Guarantee a Decent Living Standard to All U.S. Workers," Published Studies peri_mw_eitc_oct2010, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  4. Bennmarker, Helge & Calmfors, Lars & Larsson Seim, Anna, 2013. "Earned income tax credits, unemployment benefits and wages: empirical evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2013:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  5. 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.
  6. Raj Chetty, 2012. "Bounds on Elasticities With Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 969-1018, 05.
  7. Adireksombat, Kampon, 2007. "The Effects of 1993 EITC Expansion on Marginal Tax Rates," MPRA Paper 18986, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. David Neumark, 2011. "Spurring Job Creation in Response to Severe Recessions: Reconsidering Hiring Credits," NBER Working Papers 16866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew Shephard, 2011. "Equilibrium Search and Tax Credit Reform," Working Papers 1336, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  10. Leigh Andrew, 2010. "Who Benefits from the Earned Income Tax Credit? Incidence among Recipients, Coworkers and Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-43, May.
  11. Isabelle Joumard & Mauro Pisu & Debbie Bloch, 2012. "Tackling income inequality: The role of taxes and transfers," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 37-70.

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