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Income Mobility and the Earned Income Tax Credit


  • Tim Dowd
  • John B. Horowitz


The authors use a unique data set of federal tax returns to analyze usage and participation patterns of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) over the period 1989–2006. The authors find that most EITC recipients claimed the EITC for short periods, 61% for 1 or 2 years. Over the period examined, the EITC reached approximately 50 percent of the taxpayers with children. Finally, the authors find considerable income mobility among the EITC eligible population. Only 11 percent of those claiming the EITC in 1990 and in the third decile of income were in the same decile in 2003. They also find that 20 percent of EITC claimants claim the EITC for more than 5 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Dowd & John B. Horowitz, 2011. "Income Mobility and the Earned Income Tax Credit," Public Finance Review, , vol. 39(5), pages 619-652, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:39:y:2011:i:5:p:619-652

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole Simpson & Devin Reilly & Kartik Athreya, 2010. "The Earned Income Tax Credit: Insurance Without Disincentives?," 2010 Meeting Papers 1103, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Charles Gottlieb & Maren Froemel, 2015. "General Equilibrium Effects of Targeted Transfers: The case of EITC," 2015 Meeting Papers 1264, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Gottlieb, Charles & Froemel, Maren, 2015. "General Equilibrium Effects of Targeted Transfers: The case of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113175, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Larrimore, Jeff & Mortenson, Jacob & Splinter, David, 2015. "Income and Earnings Mobility in U.S. Tax Data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee & Nicholas Turner, 2015. "New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 258-293, May.
    6. Nicole Simpson & Jill Tiefenthaler & Jameson Hyde, 2010. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Economic Well-Being: A Comparison Across Household Types," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(6), pages 843-864, December.


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