The Effects of EITC Payment Expansion on Maternal Smoking

37 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2012

See all articles by Susan L. Averett

Susan L. Averett

Lafayette College - Department of Economics & Business

Yang Wang

Lafayette College

Abstract

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the U.S. In 1993, the EITC benefit levels were changed significantly based on the number of children in the family such that families with two or more children experienced an exogenous expansion in their incomes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort, we employ a triple differences plus Fixed-Effects framework to examine the effect of this change on the probability of smoking among low-educated mothers. We find that the probability of smoking for white and Hispanic low-educated mothers of two or more children decreased statistically significantly relative to those with only one child, and the results are robust to various specification tests. These results provide new evidence on the protective effect of income on health through changes in health behaviors, and therefore have important policy implications.

Keywords: low-income mothers, EITC, smoking

JEL Classification: I12, I38

Suggested Citation

Averett, Susan and Wang, Yang, The Effects of EITC Payment Expansion on Maternal Smoking. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6680. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2101947

Susan Averett (Contact Author)

Lafayette College - Department of Economics & Business ( email )

Easton, PA 18042
United States
610-250-5307 (Phone)
610-250-8961 (Fax)

Yang Wang

Lafayette College ( email )

Easton, PA 18042
United States
610-330-5298 (Phone)
610-330-5715 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://economics.lafayette.edu/

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