Rates of low birth weight decrease with EITC income: Study

A new study from the UC Davis Center for Policy Research links receipt of the Earned Income Tax Credit to real health outcomes.

“The EITC: Linking Income to Real Health Outcomes”  reports that although the EITC is not a health program it has a clear impact on newborn health, and that rates of low birth weight decrease with increased EITC income.

“It reduces poverty through two channels; it increases income immediately with a cash credit, and it provides incentives to work,” the study finds.

Bolstering our point that investing in the EITC now sames money on negative outcomes later,  the report goes on to say:

“In addition to being a standard measure of infant health, birth weight is an effective predictor of adult health as well as the economic outcomes that are the EITC’s primary concern.”

The study examined how EITC income impacted low birth weights across demographic groups, beginning with a 1993 EITC expansions. Connecticut’s EITC is currently 30% of the federal credit. Maryland’s is 50%, the report says, and several other states are considering establishing or altering their EITC.

In 2011, the first year Connecticut’s EITC was offered, more than 180,000 households from every city and town claimed the credit. Click here for a full report and town-by-town information.

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