The EITC: Expectation, Knowledge, Use, and Economic and Social Mobility

Center for Policy Research Working Paper No. 13

35 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2000  

Timothy M. Smeeding

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Katherin Ross Phillips

The Urban Institute

Michael A. O'Connor

Mauk & O'Connor, LLP

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2000

Abstract

This paper presents our findings on the knowledge and use of the 1997 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) based on a sample of Chicago area households with children that filed tax returns in the winter and spring of 1998. Respondents reported in detail about using their federal tax refunds (including the EITC) to pay bills, purchase new items, or save. Data were also gathered on respondents prior knowledge of the EITC and their ability to make particular expenditures without the help of the EITC. Uses of the EITC are divided into those that improve economic and social mobility (e.g., purchase a car, pay tuition, change residence) and those that primarily help to make ends meet (e.g., pay routine bills, purchase food). This is among the first papers to address these issues, despite the fact that the EITC is our largest refundable tax credit program targeted at low-income families.

JEL Classification: H21, H24

Suggested Citation

Smeeding, Timothy M. and Phillips, Katherin Ross and O'Connor, Michael A., The EITC: Expectation, Knowledge, Use, and Economic and Social Mobility (April 2000). Center for Policy Research Working Paper No. 13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=186690 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.186690

Timothy M. Smeeding (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-890-1317 (Phone)
608-265-3119 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lafollette.wisc.edu/facultystaff/smeeding-timothy.html

Katherin Ross Phillips

The Urban Institute ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States
(202) 261-5398 (Phone)
(202) 833-4388 (Fax)

Michael A. O'Connor

Mauk & O'Connor, LLP ( email )

1427 West Howard Street
Chicago, 60626-1426
(773) 262-2199 (Phone)
(773) 338-8397 (Fax)

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