The Unintended Consequences of Encouraging Work: Tax Incidence and the EITC
The EITC is designed to encourage work. But EITC-induced increases in labor supply may drive wages down, shifting the intended transfer toward employers and hurting non- EITC low-skill workers. I exploit variation across family types and skill levels to identify the eect of a large EITC expansion in the mid 1990s. Ceteris paribus, low-skill single mothers keep only $0.70 of every dollar they receive. Employers of low-skill labor capture $0.72, $0.30 from single mothers plus $0.43 from ineligible workers whose after-tax incomes fall when the EITC is expanded. The net transfer to low-skill workers is less than $0.28 per dollar spent.
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