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Tax-Transfer Policy and Labor Market Outcomes

The Earned Income Tax Credit provides nearly $40 billion to low-income families with children. A potential unintended consequence of the credit is lower pretax wages, in which case only part of the subsidy would accrue to workers. We examine the extent to which EITC expansions lower the pretax wages of working parents. Our findings are inconclusive. The gross hourly wages of less-skilled single women are found not to vary by the number of children, as does the EITC. In addition, the wages of black single mothers track the minimum wage for nearly the entire time period.

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