Safety Net Against Hunger? The Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Food Insecurity
34 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 15, 2019
This study examines the relationship between the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and food insecurity for low-income households. While previous work has established that the EITC can provide health benefits, less is known about the underlying mechanisms through which this occurs. Using the 2009 expansion of the program, I estimate DD and DDD models to evaluate the role of food security as a potential channel explaining the relationship between the EITC and health. My analysis provides evidence that food insecurity decreased significantly for households benefiting from the policy change. I find that the expansion of the EITC, which increased predicted annual benefits by $635 to $669, reduced the likelihood of these households being food insecure by 7.0 to 11.4 percent. The results are robust to different selections of the sample and several alternative model specifications.
Keywords: Earned Income Tax Credit, Food insecurity, Health outcomes, Mechanisms
JEL Classification: I12, I14, I38, J38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation