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The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements

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  • David T. Ellwood

Abstract

Updated March 25, 2001 A revised version of this paper appears as "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements" National Tax Journal 53(4) (part 2): 1063-1106. For more information see www.ntanet.org. This article examines the impact of the recent dramatic changes in the social policies, particularly the expansion of the EITC and welfare reform on labor supply, marriage, and cohabitation. Altered policies have increased incentives to work or marry for some, diminished incentives for others. The results strongly indicate expanded work by single mothers and reductions of work by married mothers in accordance with their changed incentives. By contrast, estimated impacts on marriage are small and ambiguous, though modest changes in cohabitation in the predicted direction suggest that impact on family structure might become more apparent in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • David T. Ellwood, 1999. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," JCPR Working Papers 124, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
    2. N. Eissa & H. W. Hoynes, "undated". "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1194-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
    4. V. Joseph Hotz, 2003. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 141-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Janet Holtzblatt & Robert Rebelein, 2000. "Measuring the Effect of the EITC on Marriage Penalties and Bonuses," JCPR Working Papers 127, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. John C. Ham & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2001. "The Impact of Public Health Insurance on Labor Market Transitions," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    7. Rebecca M. Blank & David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1999. "Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low- Income Families," HEW 9902002, EconWPA.
    8. Feenberg, Daniel R. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1995. "Recent Developments in the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 48(1), pages 91-101, March.
    9. Thomas MaCurdy & David Green & Harry Paarsch, 1990. "Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 415-490.
    10. Stacy Dickert & Scott Houser & John Karl Scholz, 1995. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and Transfer Programs: A Study of Labor Market and Program Participation," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 1-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Incentives and Income Distribution," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 83-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. James Alm & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Leslie A. Whittington, 1999. "Policy Watch: The Marriage Penalty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 193-204, Summer.
    13. Moffitt, Robert, 1986. "The Econometrics of Piecewise-Linear Budget Constraints: A Survey and Exposition of the Maximum Likelihood Method," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(3), pages 317-328, July.
    14. R. A. Moffitt & R. Reville & A. E. Winkler, "undated". "Beyond single mothers: Cohabition, marriage, and the U.S. welfare system," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1068-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    15. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," JCPR Working Papers 152, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    16. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and Its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(4), pages 1027-1062, December.
    17. Holtzblatt, Janet & Rebelein, Robert, 2000. "Measuring the Effect of the EITC on Marriage Penalties and Bonuses," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(4), pages 1107-1134, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susan E Mayer, 2000. "Why Welfare Caseloads Fluctuate: A Review of Research on AFDC, SSI, and the Food Stamps Program," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/07, New Zealand Treasury.
    2. David T. Ellwood, 2000. "Anti-Poverty Policy for Families in the Next Century: From Welfare to Work--and Worries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 187-198, Winter.
    3. James P. Ziliak, 2015. "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 1, pages 303-393 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Janet Holtzblatt & Robert Rebelein, 2000. "Measuring the Effect of the EITC on Marriage Penalties and Bonuses," JCPR Working Papers 127, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    5. Johnson, Nicholas, 2000. "State Low-Income Tax Relief: Recent Trends," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 3), pages 403-16, September.
    6. Johnson, Nicholas, 2000. "State Low-Income Tax Relief: Recent Trends," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(3), pages 403-416, September.
    7. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," JCPR Working Papers 152, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.

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