The Effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit in the District of Columbia on Poverty and Income Dynamics
43 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2015
Date Written: June 14, 2015
Using unique longitudinal administrative tax panel data for the District of Columbia (DC), we assess the combined effect of the DC supplemental earned income tax credit (EITC) and the federal EITC on poverty and income dynamics within Washington, DC, from 2001 to 2011. The EITC in DC merits investigation, as the DC supplement to the federal credit is the largest in the nation. The supplemental DC EITC was enacted in 2000, and has been expanded from 10 percent of the federal credit in 2001 to 40 percent as of 2009. To implement the study, we estimate least squares models with 0/1 dependent variables to estimate the likelihood of net-EITC income above poverty and near-poverty thresholds. We also estimate the likelihood of earnings growth and income stabilization from the EITC. To identify the effect of the EITC, we exploit variation in the EITC subsidy rate from 2008 to 2009, when an additional EITC bracket of 45 percent was added for workers with three or more dependent children, up from 40 percent in the previous year for workers with two or more children. We also estimate a model examining the impact of city-level changes to the EITC. The structure and richness of our data enable us to control for tax filer fixed effects, an important innovation from many previous EITC studies. Overall, we find that the combined EITC raises the likelihood of net-EITC income above poverty and near poverty by as much as 9 percent, with the largest consistent effects accruing to single-parent families.
Keywords: Poverty, Social Welfare Policy, Tax Expenditures, Labor Supply
JEL Classification: I32, I38, H24, J38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation