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The earned income tax credit: Participation, compliance, and antipoverty effectiveness

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  • J. K. Scholz

Abstract

This paper examines the participation rate of the earned income tax credit (EITC). After examining a variety of data sources on EITC recipiency, my preferred estimates indicate that 80 to 86 percent of eligible taxpayers received the credit in 1990, which implies fewer than 2.1 million taxpayers entitled to the credit failed to receive it. I then examine factors correlated with nonparticipation and find that many are consistent with rational or voluntary explanations for nonparticipation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the labor market incentives and antipoverty effectiveness of the credit before and after the August 1993 expansion of the EITC.

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  • J. K. Scholz, "undated". "The earned income tax credit: Participation, compliance, and antipoverty effectiveness," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1020-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1020-93
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    2. Howard Chernick & Andrew Reschovsky, 1990. "The Taxation of the Poor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 712-735.
    3. Dan Schendel & Derek Channon & Ari Ginsberg & N. Venkatraman, 1992. "Abstract," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(S1), pages 37-53, June.
    4. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1993. "When Do Women Use AFDC & Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility vs. Participation," NBER Working Papers 4429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Saul D. Hoffman & Laurence S. Seidman, 1990. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number eitc, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jens Otto Ludwig & Greg Duncan & Joshua C. Pinkston, 2000. "Neighborhood Effects on Economic Self-Sufficiency: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 159, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    2. R. H. Haveman & J. K. Scholz, "undated". "The Clinton welfare reform plan: Will it end poverty as we know it," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1037-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Michael Keen, 1997. "Peculiar institutions: A British perspective on tax policy in the United States," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 371-400, November.
    4. Cancian, Maria & Levinson, Arik, 2006. "Labor Supply Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit: Evidence From Wisconsin's Supplemental Benefit for Families With Three Children," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 781-800, December.
    5. Luc Godbout & Matthieu Arseneau, 2005. "La prime au travail du Québec : Un véritable outil d'incitation au travail ou une simple façon de baisser l'impôt?," CIRANO Working Papers 2005s-01, CIRANO.
    6. Dahlia K. Remler & Jason E. Rachlin & Sherry A. Glied, 2001. "What can the take-up of other programs teach us about how to improve take-up of health insurance programs?," NBER Working Papers 8185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Timothy M. Smeeding & Katherin Ross Phillips & Michael O'Connor, 1999. "The EITC: Expectation, Knowledge, Use, and Economic and Social Mobility," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 13, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    9. Dickert, Stacy & Houser, Scott & Scholz, John Karl, 1994. "Taxes and the Poor: A Microsimulation Study of Implicit and Explicit Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(3), pages 621-638, September.
    10. Hirasuna, Donald P. & Stinson, Thomas F., 2004. "Urban And Rural Differences In Utilization Of State Earned Income Tax Credit Programs: Minnesota'S Experience," Working Papers 18912, Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC).
    11. Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1999. "Helping the Working Poor: Employer- vs. Employee-Based Subsidies," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 14, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    12. S. Dickert-Conlin & S. Houser, "undated". "EITC, AFDC, and the Female Headship Decision," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1192-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    13. Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1999. "Employee-Based versus Employer-Based Subsidies to Low-Wage Workers: A Public Finance Perspective," JCPR Working Papers 79, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.

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