IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Death and taxes: Child health and the state tax freedom race


  • MacKenzie, Michael J.
  • Tucker, David J.


Each year the Tax Foundation releases rankings of U.S. states on time to Tax Freedom, or the day that the average taxpayer has met their tax burden. The current analysis sought to contextualize the tax freedom day rankings, by examining the association between state tax burden and key indicators of child wellbeing. The 2009 measure of days to tax freedom by state was correlated with ten key indicators of child wellbeing from the Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT 2009 data. Each of the wellbeing indicators and the overall composite wellbeing rankings were also regressed on days to Tax Freedom and Gross State Product. As the days to tax freedom decrease, indicating a lighter tax burden, all of the following increase significantly -- the infant mortality rate, child and teen death rates, teen birth rate, rates of school dropout and disconnected youth, and numbers of children in poverty. These findings all held even after controlling for Gross State Product. Public attitudes and choices about paying taxes have important consequences for the health of children in our society. The broad appeal of Tax Freedom Day highlights a disconnect between the act of paying taxes and recognition of the benefits to children those taxes provide.

Suggested Citation

  • MacKenzie, Michael J. & Tucker, David J., 2010. "Death and taxes: Child health and the state tax freedom race," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 1803-1806, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:12:p:1803-1806

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
    2. Chung, Haejoo & Muntaner, Carles, 2006. "Political and welfare state determinants of infant and child health indicators: An analysis of wealthy countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 829-842, August.
    3. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
    4. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:9:1491-1498_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Sheila B. Kamerman & Michelle Neuman & Jane Waldfogel & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2003. "Social Policies, Family Types and Child Outcomes in Selected OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 6, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:12:p:1803-1806. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.