Reducing Poverty Among Children: Evidence from State Policy Simulations

Publisher: Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 115
Jun 18, 2020
Jessica Pac, Irwin Garfinkel, Neeraj Kaushal, Jaehyun Nam, Laura Nolan, Jane Waldfogel, and Christopher Wimer

State approaches to reducing child poverty vary considerably. We surface this information on the state-level variation to estimate what could be achieved in terms of child poverty if all states adopted the most generous or inclusive states’ policies. Specifically, we simulate the child poverty reductions that would occur if every state applied the same approach in four key policy areas: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and state Child Tax Credits (CTC). We find that adopting the most generous or inclusive state EITC policy would have the largest impact on child poverty, reducing it by 1.2 percentage points, followed by SNAP, TANF, and lastly state CTC. Overall, if every state applied the same generous or inclusive methodology in all four policies, the child poverty rate would decrease by 2.5 percentage points, and five and a half million children would be lifted out of poverty.

Senior Staff

Laura Nolan
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