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Working Paper

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

May 16, 2024


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 from policymakers who worried that the new credit would lead workers to withdraw from the labor force and otherwise discourage work. These concerns drew strength from a working paper by a team of economists at the University of Chicago, published that fall, that predicted that making the ARPA CTC permanent would lead nearly 1.5 million parents to leave employment, most of them lower-income single mothers. (Corinth et al., 2021/22)

Read the entire working paper here.