Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel: Forty Years of the EITC: Assessing Its Impact on Women's Living Arrangements, Employment, and Marriage Decisions
(Poverty and Income Policy)

Friday, November 13, 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
President's Room (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Katherine C. Lim, University of Michigan
Panel Chairs:  Lauren E Jones, The Ohio State University
Discussants:  Gregory Acs, The Urban Institute

For Love or Money?: How the EITC Affects the Living Arrangements of Single Mothers
Sarah Halpern-Meekin, University of Wisconsin – Madison and Laura Tach, Cornell University

The EITC and Self-Employment Among Married Mothers
Katherine Michelmore and Katherine C. Lim, University of Michigan

The papers in this panel provide new information on the impacts of the EITC, which is currently one of the largest cash transfer programs in the US. Bastian’s paper on the impact of the original 1975 EITC on female employment adds to the current body of literature by studying the effect of the credit in a different policy context, when programs such as AFDC and WIC were much more generous. Lim and Michelmore provide new evidence that the credit affects married mothers’ employment type by encouraging self-employment and discouraging wage and salary employment. Halpern-Meekin and Tach conduct a detailed analysis of how living arrangements among couples change in response to increases in the EITC. Their work distinguishes between cohabiting, doubling up, and living separately, expanding on previous research that focuses primarily on how the EITC impacts marriage decisions. Rachidi assesses the size of the EITC marriage penalty, and the extent to which an expansion to the childless worker credit would increase the penalty. Together these papers offer a deeper understanding of how the EITC influences women’s living arrangements, marriage behavior, and employment decisions. They represent an important contribution to the current literature in understanding how the structure and generosity of the EITC has implications not only for the labor force participation of low-income women, but also the intrahousehold labor supply decision and the structure of the household itself.
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