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Using Differences in Knowledge across Neighborhoods to Uncover the Impacts of the EITC on Earnings

Author

Listed:
  • Raj Chetty
  • John N. Friedman
  • Emmanuel Saez

Abstract

We estimate the impacts of the Earned Income Tax Credit on labor supply using local variation in knowledge about the EITC schedule. We proxy for EITC knowledge in a Zip code with the fraction of individuals who manipulate reported self-employment income to maximize their EITC refund. This measure varies significantly across areas. We exploit changes in EITC eligibility at the birth of a child to estimate labor supply effects. Individuals in high-knowledge areas change wage earnings sharply to obtain larger EITC refunds relative to those in low-knowledge areas. These responses come primarily from intensive-margin earnings increases in the phase-in region.

Suggested Citation

  • Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Using Differences in Knowledge across Neighborhoods to Uncover the Impacts of the EITC on Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2683-2721, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:7:p:2683-2721
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.7.2683
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bises, Bruno, 1990. "Income Tax Perception and Labour Supply in a Sample of Industry Workers," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 45(1), pages 3-17.
    2. Kopczuk, Wojciech & Pop-Eleches, Cristian, 2007. "Electronic filing, tax preparers and participation in the Earned Income Tax Credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1351-1367, August.
    3. 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, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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