Academic journal article Journal of Family Studies

Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences: Essays on Child Support Enforcement and Tax Evasion

Academic journal article Journal of Family Studies

Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences: Essays on Child Support Enforcement and Tax Evasion

Article excerpt

This dissertation explores impacts of state child support laws and earned income tax credits (EITCs) on fathers' contact with their children; their participation in regular and off-the-books work; and whether they substitute toward informal child support in response to "taxes" on formal support. The first essay uses state laws requiring employers to withhold child support as an exogenous source of variation in child support payment methods. Holding payment amount constant, if payment method does not affect behaviour, withholding should change neither the amount of support paid nor the amount of parent-child contact for parents. I examine how payment method affects father-child contact and payment of in-kind support by instrumenting for withholding status using variation in the timing of state withholding laws. For fathers who are not in arrears, withholding reduces the amount of time fathers spend with their children and the likelihood of providing in-kind support. The results are consistent with a salience model in which changing the payment method changes the visibility of the child's consumption. The second essay examines the effects of state policies granting taxpayers an additional percentage of the federal EITC. …

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