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Effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit laws in the U.S. on maternal health behaviors and infant health outcomes

Sara Markowitz (), Kelli A. Komro, Melvin D. Livingston, Otto Lenhart and Alexander C. Wagenaar

Social Science & Medicine, 2017, vol. 194, issue C, 67-75

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) laws in the U.S. on maternal health behaviors and infant health outcomes. Using multi-state, multi-year difference-in-differences analyses, we estimated effects of state EITC generosity on maternal health behaviors, birth weight and gestation weeks. We find little difference in maternal health behaviors associated with state-level EITC. In contrast, results for key infant health outcomes of birth weight and gestation weeks show small improvements in states with EITCs, with larger effects seen among states with more generous EITCs. Our results provide evidence for important health benefits of state-level EITC policies.

Keywords: Earned Income Tax Credit; Maternal health; Infant health; Health policy; Socioeconomic factors (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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