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May 16, 2024

Critiquing Bastian (2022, 2023, 2024, and forthcoming):On Child Tax Credit Reform and the Sensitivity of Single Mothers to Work Incentives

Abstract In 2021, Congress passed and President Biden signed a major, but temporary, reform to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Among other reforms to the credit, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) made it available to non-workers on the same basis as workers. Attempts to make this reform permanent foundered, in part, due to opposition…

April 17, 2024

Homelessness and the Persistence of Deprivation: Income, Employment, and Safety Net Participation

Abstract Homelessness is arguably the most extreme hardship associated with poverty in the United States, yet people experiencing homelessness are excluded from official poverty statistics and much of the extreme poverty literature. This paper provides the most detailed and accurate portrait to date of the level and persistence of material disadvantage faced by this population,…

February 2, 2024

Has Intergenerational Progress Stalled? Income Growth over Five Generations of Americans

Abstract We find that each of the past four generations of Americans was better off than the previous one, using a post-tax, post-transfer income measure constructed annually from 1963-2022 based on the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement. At age 36–40, Millennials had a real median household income that was 18 percent higher…

November 9, 2023

Child Support Policy: Areas of Emerging Agreement and Ongoing Debate

This paper will be delivered at the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management 2023 Fall Research Conference. Abstract The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) system has a broad scope and provides important resources to economically vulnerable children who live apart from one of their parents. Yet, it is subject to critique for intervening too much, too…

October 30, 2023

Does Wage Theft Vary by Demographic Group? Evidence from Minimum Wage Increases

Using Current Population Survey data, we assess whether and to what extent the burden of wage theft — wage payments below the statutory minimum wage — falls disproportionately on various demographic groups following minimum wage increases. For most racial and ethnic groups at most ages we find that underpayment rises similarly as a fraction of…

April 17, 2023

Data Tools 6: The Geography of Traditional Families in America

The sixth in a series from Charles Murray. “Every generation, civilization is invaded by barbarians—we call them ‘children.’” These words, often attributed to Hannah Arendt, express a truth that societies have known since societies began: Children must be socialized. Two other truths that societies have instinctively known for millennia are that the birth parents must…