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The Earned Income Tax Credit and Rural Families: Differences between Participants and Non-participants

Sheila Mammen (), Frances Lawrence (), Peter St. Marie (), Ann Berry () and Suzanne Knight ()
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Sheila Mammen: Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Frances Lawrence: School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University
Peter St. Marie: Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ann Berry: University of Tennessee Knoxville
Suzanne Knight: Family Resource Management, University of New Hampshire Durham

No 2009-1, Working Papers from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics

Abstract: The differences between rural low-income mothers who were participants and non-participants in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) were examined. One-third of the 224 eligible mothers in a multi-state study did not claim the tax credit. Non-participants were more likely to be Hispanic, less educated, with larger families, borrowing money from family, and living in more rural counties. Participating mothers, on the other hand, were more food secure, perceived their household income as being adequate, reported recent improvements in their economic situation, were satisfied with life, and lived in states with a state EITC. Analysis of qualitative data revealed that rural mothers had many misconceptions about the EITC. These findings contribute to family and economic professionals’ understanding of why rural low-income families do not participate in the tax credit and assist in formulating policies and education/outreach efforts that would increase their participation

Keywords: EITC non-participants; EITC participants; rural low-income mothers; state EITC; rural low-income families (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I38 J16 J18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2009-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa
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