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Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health

Author

Listed:
  • Hilary Hoynes
  • Doug Miller
  • David Simon

Abstract

This paper uses quasi-experimental variation from federal tax reform to evaluate the effect of the EITC on infant health outcomes. We find that the EITC reduces the incidence of low birth weight and increases mean birth weight: a $1,000 treatment-on-the-treated leads to a 2 to 3 percent decline in low birth weight. Our results suggest that the candidate mechanisms include more prenatal care and less negative health behaviors (smoking). Additionally, we find a shift from public to private insurance coverage, and for some a reduction in insurance overall, indicating a potential change in the quality and perhaps quantity of coverage. (JEL H24, I12, I38, J13)

Suggested Citation

  • Hilary Hoynes & Doug Miller & David Simon, 2015. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 172-211, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:1:p:172-211
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20120179
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barrow, Lisa & McGranahan, Leslie, 2000. "The Effects of the Earned Income Credit on the Seasonality of Household Expenditures," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(4), pages 1211-1244, December.
    2. Verónica Amarante & Marco Manacorda & Edward Miguel & Andrea Vigorito, 2011. "Do Cash Transfers Improve Birth Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Vital Statistics, Social Security and Program Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp1106, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Del Bono, Emilia & Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2008. "Intrafamily resource allocations: a dynamic model of birth weight," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-27, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2009. "Air pollution and infant health: Lessons from New Jersey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 688-703, May.
    5. William N. Evans & Craig L. Garthwaite, 2014. "Giving Mom a Break: The Impact of Higher EITC Payments on Maternal Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 258-290, May.
    6. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Timothy M. Watts, 2007. "Long Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," NBER Working Papers 12895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
    8. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
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    10. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Barrow, Lisa & McGranahan, Leslie, 2000. "The Effects of the Earned Income Credit on the Seasonality of Household Expenditures," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1211-44, December.
    12. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2005. "Welfare Reform and Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
    13. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Children's Living Arrangements," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
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    17. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Adriana Camacho, 2008. "Stress and Birth Weight: Evidence from Terrorist Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 511-515, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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