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The Earned Income Tax Credit and Rural Families: Differences between Participants and Non-participants

  • Sheila Mammen


    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Frances C. Lawrence


    (School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University)

  • Peter St. Marie


    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Ann A. Berry


    (University of Tennessee Knoxville)

  • Suzanne Enzian Knight


    (Family Resource Management, University of New Hampshire Durham)

Registered author(s):

    The differences between rural low-income mothers who were participants and non-participants in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) were examined. One-third of the 224 eligible mothers in a multi-state study did not claim the tax credit. Non-participants were more likely to be Hispanic, less educated, with larger families, borrowing money from family, and living in more rural counties. Participating mothers, on the other hand, were more food secure, perceived their household income as being adequate, reported recent improvements in their economic situation, were satisfied with life, and lived in states with a state EITC. Analysis of qualitative data revealed that rural mothers had many misconceptions about the EITC. These findings contribute to family and economic professionals’ understanding of why rural low-income families do not participate in the tax credit and assist in formulating policies and education/outreach efforts that would increase their participation

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    Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009-1.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2009-1
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