We previously showed that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income workers lifts more children out of poverty than any other public program. More recent research suggests that the income assistance it provides is even better for children — our nation’s future workforce — than we thought, helping them succeed both as students and, in adulthood, as workers.
Improving school performance. For children in low-income working families, research shows that earnings supplements like the EITC can be very beneficial in times of need. As our recent paper explains, three separate teams of highly regarded researchers have found that young children in very low-income families do better in school if their families receive additional income from the EITC or (in some of the studies) similar work-based supports.
Boosting children’s work hours and earnings in adulthood. The benefits of the EITC and other income-boosting measures appear to carry over into young children’s adulthood. Two studies show that young children in low-income families that receive the type of income support that the EITC offers are likely to work more and earn more as adults.
The additional 135 hours of work is nearly a third of the gap in adult work hours between children raised in poor families and children raised in families above twice the poverty line.
In short, the EITC boosts the work and earnings not only of single mothers, but also of their children.