IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/hlthec/v31y2022i6p1067-1102.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The long‐term effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on women's physical and mental health

Author

Listed:
  • Lauren E. Jones
  • Guangyi Wang
  • Tansel Yilmazer

Abstract

Using a novel method, and data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), we estimate the cumulative, long‐term, causal effect of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) eligibility on women's physical and mental health at age 50. We find that an increase in lifetime eligible EITC benefits is associated with long‐term improvements in physical health, such as reduced occurrence of activity‐limiting health problems and reduced reported diagnoses of mild and severe diseases. We explore intermediate health behaviors and outcomes, and find that an increase in lifetime eligible EITC benefits increases the number of hours worked and access to employer‐sponsored health insurance, and decreases body mass index in the short‐term. We find no significant effects of the EITC on mental health at age 50. Finally, we find that White women benefit disproportionately from the EITC in terms of mobility‐related health issues, while Black and Hispanic women benefit in terms of lung‐related illnesses like asthma, as well as cancer and stroke.

Suggested Citation

  • Lauren E. Jones & Guangyi Wang & Tansel Yilmazer, 2022. "The long‐term effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on women's physical and mental health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(6), pages 1067-1102, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:31:y:2022:i:6:p:1067-1102
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.4501
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.4501
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1002/hec.4501?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kamila Cygan-Rehm & Christoph Wunder, 2018. "Do Working Hours Affect Health? Evidence from Statutory Workweek Regulations in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 7098, CESifo.
    2. Lauren E. Jones & Katherine Michelmore, 2018. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Household Finances," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 37(3), pages 521-545, June.
    3. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
    4. Adam Looney & Day Manoli, 2016. "Are There Returns to Experience at Low-Skill Jobs? Evidence from Single Mothers in the United States over the 1990s," Upjohn Working Papers 16-255, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    5. Kamila Cygam-Rehm & Christoph Wunder, 2018. "Do Working Hours Affect Health? Evidence from Statutory Workweek Regulations in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 967, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2012. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1927-1956, August.
    7. Jacob Bastian, 2020. "The Rise of Working Mothers and the 1975 Earned Income Tax Credit," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 44-75, August.
    8. Hilary W. Hoynes & Ankur J. Patel, 2018. "Effective Policy for Reducing Poverty and Inequality?: The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(4), pages 859-890.
    9. Cancian, Maria & Levinson, Arik, 2006. "Labor Supply Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit: Evidence From Wisconsin's Supplemental Benefit for Families With Three Children," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 59(4), pages 781-800, December.
    10. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
    11. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2007. "Labor Supply and Weight," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
    12. William N. Evans & Craig L. Garthwaite, 2014. "Giving Mom a Break: The Impact of Higher EITC Payments on Maternal Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 258-290, May.
    13. Maria Sironi & George B. Ploubidis & Emily M. Grundy, 2020. "Fertility History and Biomarkers Using Prospective Data: Evidence From the 1958 National Child Development Study," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 529-558, April.
    14. Donald S. Kenkel & Maximilian D. Schmeiser & Carly Urban, 2014. "Is Smoking Inferior?: Evidence from Variation in the Earned Income Tax Credit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(4), pages 1094-1120.
    15. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 516-538, May.
    16. George L. Wehby & Dhaval M. Dave & Robert Kaestner, 2020. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 411-443, March.
    17. Tim Dowd & John B. Horowitz, 2011. "Income Mobility and the Earned Income Tax Credit," Public Finance Review, , vol. 39(5), pages 619-652, September.
    18. Berniell, Inés & Bietenbeck, Jan, 2020. "The effect of working hours on health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    19. David Cesarini & Erik Lindqvist & Robert Östling & Björn Wallace, 2016. "Wealth, Health, and Child Development: Evidence from Administrative Data on Swedish Lottery Players," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 687-738.
    20. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 516-538, May.
    21. Baughman, Reagan A., 2005. "Evaluating the Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Health Insurance Coverage," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 58(4), pages 665-684, December.
    22. Frijters, Paul & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Shields, Michael A., 2005. "The causal effect of income on health: Evidence from German reunification," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 997-1017, September.
    23. Narain, Kimberly & Bitler, Marianne & Ponce, Ninez & Kominski, Gerald & Ettner, Susan, 2017. "The impact of welfare reform on the health insurance coverage, utilization and health of low education single mothers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 28-35.
    24. V. Joseph Hotz & John Karl Scholz, 2006. "Examining the Effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on the Labor Market Participation of Families on Welfare," NBER Working Papers 11968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Wunder, Christoph, 2018. "Do working hours affect health? Evidence from statutory workweek regulations in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 162-171.
    26. Nur Cahyadi & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Rizal Adi Prima & Elan Satriawan & Ekki Syamsulhakim, 2020. "Cumulative Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Experimental Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 88-110, November.
    27. Austin Nichols & Jesse Rothstein, 2015. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 1, pages 137-218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Hilary Hoynes & Doug Miller & David Simon, 2015. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 172-211, February.
    29. Taehyun Ahn, 2016. "Reduction of Working Time: Does It Lead to a Healthy Lifestyle?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(8), pages 969-983, August.
    30. Andrew Goodman-Bacon & Leslie McGranahan, 2008. "How do EITC recipients spend their refunds?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 32(Q II), pages 17-32.
    31. Natasha Pilkauskas & Katherine Michelmore, 2019. "The Effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Housing and Living Arrangements," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(4), pages 1303-1326, August.
    32. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin, 2009. "The earned income tax credit and fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 537-563, July.
    33. Meer, Jonathan & Miller, Douglas L. & Rosen, Harvey S., 2003. "Exploring the health-wealth nexus," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 713-730, September.
    34. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294, November.
    35. Collin, Daniel F. & Shields-Zeeman, Laura S. & Batra, Akansha & White, Justin S. & Tong, Michelle & Hamad, Rita, 2021. "The effects of state earned income tax credits on mental health and health behaviors: A quasi-experimental study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 276(C).
    36. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2017. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 629-631, February.
    37. Dow, William H. & Godøy, Anna & Lowenstein, Christopher & Reich, Michael, 2020. "Can Labor Market Policies Reduce Deaths of Despair?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    38. Henrik Kleven, 2019. "The EITC and the Extensive Margin: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 26405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Austin Nichols & Jesse Rothstein, 2015. "The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)," NBER Working Papers 21211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    40. Susan Averett & Yang Wang, 2013. "The Effects Of Earned Income Tax Credit Payment Expansion On Maternal Smoking," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(11), pages 1344-1359, November.
    41. Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M. & Ifcher, John & Zarghamee, Homa, 2016. "The earned income tax credit, mental health, and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 18-38.
    42. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Anuj Gangopadhyaya & Fredric Blavin & Breno Braga & Jason Gates, 2020. "Credit where it is due: Investigating pathways from earned income tax credit expansion to maternal mental health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(9), pages 975-991, September.
    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, 2021. "Earned income tax credit and crime," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 589-607, July.
    5. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Michael R. Strain, 2021. "Employment Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit: Taking the Long View," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 87-129.
    6. Bastian, Jacob E. & Jones, Maggie R., 2021. "Do EITC expansions pay for themselves? Effects on tax revenue and government transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    7. Susan Averett & Yang Wang, 2013. "The Effects Of Earned Income Tax Credit Payment Expansion On Maternal Smoking," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(11), pages 1344-1359, November.
    8. Jacob Bastian, 2020. "The EITC and Maternal Time Use: More Time Working and Less Time with Kids?," Working Papers 2020-077, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    9. Brady P. Horn & Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael R. Strain, 2017. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1986-2007, October.
    10. O. Kondratjeva & S. P. Roll & M. Despard & M. Grinstein-Weiss, 2022. "The Impact of Tax Refund Delays on the Experience of Hardship Among Lower-Income Households," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 239-280, June.
    11. William N. Evans & Craig L. Garthwaite, 2014. "Giving Mom a Break: The Impact of Higher EITC Payments on Maternal Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 258-290, May.
    12. Averett, Susan L. & Wang, Yang, 2015. "The Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Children's Health, Quality of Home Environment, and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 9173, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Markowitz, Sara & Komro, Kelli A. & Livingston, Melvin D. & Lenhart, Otto & Wagenaar, Alexander C., 2017. "Effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit laws in the U.S. on maternal health behaviors and infant health outcomes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 67-75.
    14. Elliott Isaac, 2020. "Marriage, Divorce, and Social Safety Net Policy," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(4), pages 1576-1612, April.
    15. Collin, Daniel F. & Shields-Zeeman, Laura S. & Batra, Akansha & White, Justin S. & Tong, Michelle & Hamad, Rita, 2021. "The effects of state earned income tax credits on mental health and health behaviors: A quasi-experimental study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 276(C).
    16. Gangopadhyaya, Anuj & Blavin, Fredric & Gates, Jason & Braga, Breno, 2019. "Credit Where It's Due: Investigating Pathways from EITC Expansion to Maternal Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 12233, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. David Neumark & Katherine E. Williams, 2020. "Do State Earned Income Tax Credits Increase Participation in the Federal EITC?," NBER Working Papers 27626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Elena Andreyeva & Benjamin Ukert, 2018. "The impact of the minimum wage on health," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 337-375, December.
    19. Jonathan Fisher & David H. Rehkopf, 2022. "The Earned Income Tax Credit as supplementary food benefits and savings for durable goods," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(3), pages 439-455, July.
    20. Elira Kuka & Na'ama Shenhav, 2020. "Long-Run Effects of Incentivizing Work After Childbirth," Working Papers 2020-10, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:wly:hlthec:v:31:y:2022:i:6:p:1067-1102. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    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.