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Does the earned income tax credit increase children's weight? The impact of policy‐driven income on childhood obesity

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  • Young Jo

Abstract

I exploit substantial increases in the earned income tax credit to study how a policy‐driven change in family income affects childhood obesity. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, my difference‐in‐differences estimates indicate that the probability of being obese increased by 3 percentage points among children whose families experienced a greater income shock. A further investigation suggests that a reduction in maternal time with children played a greater role in children's weight gain than income. The paper's finding shows that a program that is not designed for health purposes, such as earned income tax credit, can have unintended effects on health outcomes.

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  • Young Jo, 2018. "Does the earned income tax credit increase children's weight? The impact of policy‐driven income on childhood obesity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1089-1102, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:27:y:2018:i:7:p:1089-1102
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3658
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    2. Martin, Molly A., 2021. "What is the causal effect of income gains on youth obesity? Leveraging the economic boom created by the Marcellus Shale development," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 272(C).
    3. Braga, Breno & Blavin, Fredric & Gangopadhyaya, Anuj, 2020. "The long-term effects of childhood exposure to the earned income tax credit on health outcomes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    4. Otto Lenhart, 2019. "The effects of income on health: new evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 377-410, June.
    5. Briody, Jonathan, 2021. "Parental unemployment during the Great Recession and childhood adiposity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).

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