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How Families View and Use the EITC: Advance Payment versus Lump Sum Delivery

  • Romich, Jennifer L.
  • Weisner, Thomas
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    We analyze ethnographic data on 42 families’ perceptions and uses of the EITC, including the decision to use the lump sum or advance payment form. A behavioral life cycle (BLC) model lends a theoretical framework and a description of family financial situations provides context. Parents discuss and exhibit a strong preference for a lump sum combined tax refund and EITC over the credit’s advance payment option. We argue that the preference aligns with the BLC model and is rational given scarce time, money, and personal energy. We conclude with implications and hypotheses for quantitative investigation of labor supply and well being issues.

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    Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2000)
    Issue (Month): n. 4 (December)
    Pages: 1245-66

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    Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:53:y:2000:i:n._4:p:1245-66
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    1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
    2. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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