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The Earned Income Tax Credit, Health, and Happiness

Listed author(s):
  • Boyd-Swan, Casey

    ()

    (Arizona State University)

  • Herbst, Chris M.

    ()

    (Arizona State University)

  • Ifcher, John

    ()

    (Santa Clara University)

  • Zarghamee, Homa

    ()

    (Barnard College)

Registered author(s):

    This paper contributes to the small but growing literature evaluating the health effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In particular, we use data from the National Survey of Families and Households to study the impact of the 1990 federal EITC expansion on several outcomes related to mental health and subjective well-being. The identification strategy relies on a difference-in-differences framework to estimate intent-to-treat effects for the post-reform period. Our results suggest that the 1990 EITC reform generated sizeable health benefits for low-skilled mothers. Such women experienced lower depression symptomatology, an increase in self-reported happiness, and improved self-efficacy relative to their childless counterparts. Consistent with previous work, we find that married mothers captured most of the health benefits, with unmarried mothers' health changing very little following the 1990 EITC reform.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7261.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7261.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2013
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7261
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    5. Chris Herbst, 2011. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Marriage and Divorce: Evidence from Flow Data," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(1), pages 101-128, February.
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    8. 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.
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    31. repec:ntj:journl:v:54:y:2001:i:n._2:p:281-318 is not listed on IDEAS
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