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Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume I

Few government programs in the United States are as controversial as those designed to help the poor. From tax credits to medical assistance, the size and structure of the American safety net is an issue of constant debate.

These two volumes update the earlier Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States with a discussion of the many changes in means-tested government programs and the results of new research over the past decade. While some programs that experienced falling outlays in the years prior to the previous volume have remained at low levels of expenditure, many others have grown, including Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and subsidized housing programs. For each program, the contributors describe its origins and goals, summarize its history and current rules, and discuss recipients’ characteristics and the types of benefits they receive. 

This is an invaluable reference for researchers and policy makers that features detailed analyses of many of the most important transfer programs in the United States.

464 pages | 12 halftones, 35 line drawings, 37 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2016

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Economics--Development, Growth, Planning, Economics--Government Finance


"Four papers, revised from work presented at a December 2014 conference held at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, survey the history, policy issues, rules, caseloads, and research on major US safety-net programs."

Journal of Economic Literature

Table of Contents

Robert A. Moffitt
1. The Medicaid Program

Thomas Buchmueller, John C. Ham, and Lara D. Shore-Sheppard
2. The Earned Income Tax Credit
Austin Nichols and Jesse Rothstein
3. US Food and Nutrition Programs
Hilary Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
4. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
James P. Ziliak
Author Index
Subject Index

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