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The effects of welfare reform and related policies on single mothers' welfare use and employment
This paper examines how changes in tax policy, welfare programs, public health insurance, and economic conditions during the 1990s affected welfare use and employment among single mothers. Drawing on panel data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, I give new estimates of the effects of specific policy changes and use those estimates to explain changes in economic behavior. The results suggest that Welfare Reform policies, the EITC, and improved economic conditions, in that order, were the primary determinants of changes in welfare use and employment between 1993 and 1999.
The effect of anticipated tax changes on intertemporal labor supply and the realization of taxable income
We use anticipated changes in tax rates associated with changes in family composition to estimate intertemporal labor supply elasticities and elasticities of taxable income with respect to the net-of-tax wage rate. A number of provisions of the tax code are tied explicitly to child age and dependent status. Changes in the ages of children can thus affect marginal tax rates through phase-in or phase-out provisions of tax credits or by shifting individuals across tax brackets. We identify the response of labor and income to these tax changes by comparing families who experienced a tax rate ...
Salience and taxation: theory and evidence
This paper presents evidence that consumers underreact to taxes that are not salient and characterizes the welfare consequences of tax policies when agents make such optimization errors. The empirical evidence is based on two complementary strategies. First, we conducted an experiment at a grocery store posting tax inclusive prices for 750 products subject to sales tax for a three week period. Scanner data show that this intervention reduced demand for the treated products by 8 percent. Second, we find that state-level increases in excise taxes (which are included in posted prices) reduce ...
The Consequences of Student Loan Credit Expansions: Evidence from Three Decades of Default Cycles
This paper studies the link between credit availability and student loan repayment using administrative federal student loan data. We demonstrate that expansions and contractions in federal student loan credit to institutions with high default rates explain most of the time series variation in student loan defaults between 1980 and 2010. Expansions in loan eligibility between 1976 and 1988 led to the entry of new, high-risk institutions, and default rates exceeding 30 percent in the late 1980s. Credit access was subsequently tightened through strict institutional and student accountability ...
Changes in the Distribution of After-Tax Wealth: Has Income Tax Policy Increased Wealth Inequality?
A substantial share of the wealth of Americans is held in tax-deferred form such as in retirement accounts or as unrealized capital gains. Most data and statistics on assets and wealth is reported on a pre-tax basis, but pre-tax values include an implicit tax liability and may not provide as accurate a measure of the financial position or material well-being of families. In this paper, we describe the distribution of tax-deferred assets in the SCF from 1989 to 2013, provide new estimates of the income tax liabilities implicit in those assets, and present new statistics on the level and ...