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Effects of State-Level Earned Income Tax Credit Laws in the U.S. on Maternal Health Behaviors and Infant Health Outcomes

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  • Sara Markowitz
  • Kelli A. Komro
  • Melvin D. Livingston
  • Otto Lenhart
  • Alexander C. Wagenaar

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) laws in the U.S. on maternal health behaviors and infant health outcomes. Using multi-state, multi-year difference-in-differences analyses, we estimated effects of state EITC generosity on maternal health behaviors, birth weight and gestation weeks. We find little difference in maternal health behaviors associated with state-level EITC. In contrast, results for key infant health outcomes of birth weight and gestation weeks show small improvements in states with EITCs, with larger effects seen among states with more generous EITCs. Our results provide evidence for important health benefits of state-level EITC policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Markowitz & Kelli A. Komro & Melvin D. Livingston & Otto Lenhart & Alexander C. Wagenaar, 2017. "Effects of State-Level Earned Income Tax Credit Laws in the U.S. on Maternal Health Behaviors and Infant Health Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 23714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23714
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierce O’Reilly, 2018. "Tax policies for inclusive growth in a changing world," OECD Taxation Working Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
    2. Kelli A Komro & Phenesse Dunlap & Nolan Sroczynski & Melvin D Livingston & Megan A Kelly & Dawn Pepin & Sara Markowitz & Shelby Rentmeester & Alexander C Wagenaar, 2020. "Anti-poverty policy and health: Attributes and diffusion of state earned income tax credits across U.S. states from 1980 to 2020," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(11), pages 1-18, November.
    3. Otto Lenhart, 2019. "The effects of state‐level earned income tax credits on suicides," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(12), pages 1476-1482, December.
    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. 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.
    6. Averett, Susan L. & Smith, Julie K. & Wang, Yang, 2019. "Minimum Wages and the Health and Access to Care of Immigrants' Children," IZA Discussion Papers 12606, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. 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).
    8. 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.

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    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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