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The Unintended Consequences of Encouraging Work: Tax Incidence and the EITC

  • Jesse Rothstein

    (Princeton University and NBER)

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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File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/165rothstein.pdf
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1049.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:165rothstein
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  1. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
  3. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  4. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," NBER Working Papers 10549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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