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The EITC Disincentive: The Effects on Hours Worked from the Phase-out of the Earned Income Tax Credit


  • Paul Trampe


This paper examines the effect on hours worked of the income-based phase-out of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It discusses earlier literature on the subject. While the effects on labor force participation of EITC have been thoroughly studied, producing a consensus that the program encourages participation particularly among single women with children, the effect on hours has taken a back seat in most studies. Those who have studied the issue have generally found no effect. A number of those studies, however, were based on a population defined too broadly to indicate anything meaningful for the EITC population, while others seemed to overlook facets of their own data. I include a multiple regression using Current Population Survey Data cases in which family income corresponds to the phase-out range of EITC. Only in the phase-out range – as beneficiaries lose part of their benefits as a percentage of income above the threshold amount – would we expect a negative effect on hours worked. My results show a small negative effect on hours worked for the population in the phase-out range.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Trampe, 2007. "The EITC Disincentive: The Effects on Hours Worked from the Phase-out of the Earned Income Tax Credit," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 4(3), pages 308-320, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:4:y:2007:i:3:p:308-320

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blumenthal, Marsha & Erard, Brian & Ho, Chih–Chin, 2005. "Participation and Compliance With the Earned Income Tax Credit," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 58(2), pages 189-213, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:endesu:v:20:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9895-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Paul Trampe, 2008. "The EITC Disincentive: A Reply to Dr. Hilary Hoynes," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(1), pages 59-65, January.

    More about this item


    Earned Income; Marginal Tax Rate; Phase-out; Phase-in; Plateau region; Disincentive; Workforce Participation; Assistance;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents


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