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The Earned Income Tax Credit and Labor Market Participation of Families on Welfare

  • V. Joseph Hotz
  • Charles H. Mullin
  • John Karl Scholz

In this paper we examine the effect of the EITC on the employment rates of adults who received welfare (AFDC) during the 1990s. The first part of the paper begins with a description of the changes in the EITC over the last ten years, its administration, and what is known about its of the changes in the EITC over the last ten years, its administration, and what is known about its welfare policy changes, earned income tax credit (EITC) increases in 1990 and 1993, and changes in local labor market conditions on the behavior of families who received welfare benefits in California during the early part of the 1990s. The data on welfare recipients that we analyze are drawn from the California Work Pays Demonstration Project (CWPDP). The CWPDP incorporated experimental variation in the benefits package received by treatment and control households drawn from California?s AFDC caseload in four counties during the first half of the 1990s. This experimental variation is used to help identify the effects of welfare changes from the effects of the EITC expansions and the effects of local labor market conditions over this same period. We use a variety of county-level labor market indicators to account for the influence that the local labor market had on the employment rates of heads of households in the CWPDP sample. We also exploit a change in the EITC in 1994 when the credit became significantly more generous for families with two or more children, relative to families with only one child. Our evidence is consistent with the EITC having large, positive effects on employment of adults from welfare families in California . This paper appears as Chapter 3 in the edited volume The Incentives of Government Programs and the Well-Beings of Families. To view the contents of the entire volume, please click here.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 214.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:214
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  1. 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.
  2. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1995. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 5158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carolyn J. Hill & V. Joseph Hotz & Charles H. Mullin & John Karl Scholz, 1999. "EITC Eligibility, Participation, and Compliance Rates for AFDC Households: Evidence from the California Caseload," JCPR Working Papers 102, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. M. Keane & R. Moffitt, . "A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1080-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  5. V. J. Hotz & J. K. Scholz, . "Measuring Employment and Income for Low-Income Populations with Administrative and Survey Data," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1224-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  6. Michael P. Keane, 1995. "A new idea for welfare reform," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-28.
  7. Rebecca M. Blank, 2001. "Declining caseloads/increased work: what can we conclude about the effects of welfare reform?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 25-36.
  8. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2001. "The Long-Term Gains from GAIN: A Re-Analysis of the Impacts of the California GAIN Program," Working Papers 01-03, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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