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Safety Net Investments in Children

Author

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  • Hilary W. Hoynes
  • Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Abstract

In this paper, we examine what groups of children are served by core childhood social-safety net programs—including Medicaid, EITC, CTC, SNAP, and AFDC/TANF—and how that’s changed over time. We find that virtually all gains in spending on the social safety net for children since 1990 have gone to families with earnings, and to families with income above the poverty line. This is the result of welfare reform and the expansion of in work tax credits. We review the available research and find that access to safety net programs during childhood leads to benefits for children and society over the long run. This evidence suggests that the changes to the social safety net may have lasting negative impacts on the poorest children.

Suggested Citation

  • Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2018. "Safety Net Investments in Children," NBER Working Papers 24594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24594
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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