The Long Term Benefit of Lifting Children Out of Poverty Today

The Long Term Benefit Of Lifting Children Out Of Poverty Today Keeping kids above the poverty line contributes to their stability in adulthood. Maskot/DigitalVision via Getty Images

As part of the latest COVID-19 relief package, the federal government has expanded the child tax credit and made it available to all families with children except those with the highest incomes. Families will get US$3,000 per kid ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 for younger children. The Internal Revenue Service will deliver half of this money as monthly payments of either $250 or $300 during the second half of 2021 and the rest as a lump sum during the 2022 tax season.

If the government extends this benefit beyond the one year that’s currently funded, as many members of Congress and the Biden administration would like, this policy has the potential to dramatically cut child poverty by as much as 50%.

This kind of arrangement is already the norm in many countries, such as Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. As economists who have spent decades studying poverty, we believe it will have lasting benefits.

Long-term benefits

Many studies conducted in recent years show that lifting children from the burdens of poverty has the potential to improve their health and ability to get a good education.

For example, economist Chloe East found that when low-income families with young kids receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the children are less likely to miss school and more likely to be in good health as they get older.

A team of researchers who assessed the effects of reforms to cash welfare programs conducted in the 1990s similarly found that helping low-income families pay their bills leads to their kids’ doing better at school in the future.

Other studies have looked into what happened when low-income families with children wound up with more money through expansions in the earned income tax credit, or EITC – a benefit paid to workers with low levels of earnings that the government substantially expanded in the mid-1990s.

Researchers have found that this increased income was associated later on with students’ scoring higher on standardized tests and becoming more likely to graduate from high school and go to college, and in early adulthood they are more likely to have a job and earn higher wages.

Another study that one of us conducted with two other colleagues found that babies born to families benefiting from the EITC are healthier overall. Other research found that women who give birth while benefiting from the EITC have better physical and mental health.

And two of us conducted a study that detected better health in adulthood for people whose families benefited from the introduction of the food stamp program when they were children in the 1960s and early 1970s. Similarly, researchers have seen long-term improvements in terms of increased educational attainment among low-income children whose families received a type of basic income paid to members of the Eastern Cherokee tribal government out of casino profits.

When families with young children get access to cash welfare, that support has even been linked to higher earnings in adulthood and longer lives.

An incomplete fix

This entire body of research suggests that the benefits of alleviating poverty are significant when children get more money, food, health care and other resources early on, especially between conception and the age of 5.

To be sure, providing all but the wealthiest families who have children under 18 with extra cash will not begin to do away with all of the inequalities facing children in America. Nor will these payments ensure that all children ultimately have the same shot at good health, a great education or, down the road, opportunities to make a good living.

But we do believe that this policy, especially if it takes hold for the long term, will meaningfully improve millions of children’s lives and give them a much better start in life.

Among other things, it reverses a troubling trend. Since 1990, increases in federal spending aimed at benefiting children, including changes to the earned income tax credit, have often failed to assist the poorest families in a country where 1 in 7 children were languishing in poverty before the COVID-19 pandemic began.The Conversation

About The Authors

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Professor of Education and Social Policy; Director of the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University; Hilary Hoynes, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of California, Berkeley, and Melissa S. Kearney, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland; Director, Aspen Economic Strategy Group, University of Maryland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

INNERSELF VOICES

happy woman 's face
How To Experience A Mystical State of Consciousness
by Ora Nadrich
Whatever it is we seek pleasure from, relying on external things to give us the high or a feeling…
a blurred clock expanding over a starry background
Horoscope Current Week: December 6 - 12, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
12 05 from rigidity to change 647528 complete
From Rigidity to Change
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
In order for things, or people, to change they need to be flexible. A willow tree bends in the wind…
man and dog in front of giant sequoia trees in California
The Art of Constant Wonder: Thank you, Life, for this day
by Pierre Pradervand
One of the greatest secrets of life is to know how to constantly marvel at existence and at the…
Photo: Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.
Horoscope: Week of November 29 - December 5, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
young boy looking through binoculars
The Power of Five: Five Weeks, Five Months, Five Years
by Shelly Tygielski
At times, we have to let go of what is to make room for what will be. Of course, the very idea of…
man eating fast food
It's Not About the Food: Overeating, Addictions, and Emotions
by Jude Bijou
What if I told you a new diet called the "It's Not About the Food" is gaining popularity and…
woman dancing in the middle of an empty highway with a city skyline in the background
Having the Courage to Be True to Ourselves
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Each one of us is a unique individual, and thus it seems to follow that each one of us has a…
What's Really Important For Our Bucket List
What's Really Important On My Bucket List
by Joyce Vissell
Once in a while, a person will have a defining moment -- an experience -- a bit of wisdom or…
girl with tattoos on face and heavy make-up
Is It Good or Bad? And Are We Qualified to Judge?
by Marie T. Russell
Judgment plays a big part in our lives, so much that we are not even aware most of the time that we…
a rainbow in the palm of an open hand
Finding Silver Linings and Rainbows
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Be open to discovering the gifts life is offering you -- expect silver linings and rainbows, be on…

Selected for InnerSelf Magazine

MOST READ

How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
by Tracy Marks
Astrology is a powerful art, capable of enhancing our lives by enabling us to understand our own…
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…
Taking A Step Toward Peace by Changing Our Relationship With Thought
Stepping Toward Peace by Changing Our Relationship With Thought
by John Ptacek
We spend our lives immersed in a flood of thoughts, unaware that another dimension of consciousness…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.