Project Overview

Black and Latinx workers and families face inequities in the labor market in the form of higher unemployment and lower wages and incomes. Concurrently, structural changes in the labor market have caused low-wage jobs to proliferate, creating greater economic uncertainty. Although the US’s social safety net has become more contingent on work participation, these programs have nonetheless played an important role in stabilizing families unable to make ends meet through work alone.

Research shows cash and near-cash assistance programs reduce poverty and inequality, but little is known about how they support program participants’ employment, work hours, and other labor market outcomes. Public policy scholars Bradley Hardy and James Ziliak seek to address this knowledge gap by analyzing multiple public datasets that link participants in major safety net programs—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Earned Income Tax Credit Program—with wage, earnings, and employment data and disaggregating results by gender, race, and ethnicity. Their results will inform policies to boost the employment, earnings, and economic well-being of workers of color and their families.


Social determinants of work Brief September 29, 2022

The EITC and Racial Income Inequality

A new analysis from WorkRise grantees finds that the earned income tax credit reduces racial income inequality among lower- and middle-income households but may widen it for households in deep poverty.

Bradley Hardy, Charles Hokayem, James Ziliak

Grantee Research

September 29, 2022
Social determinants of work Executive Summary March 29, 2022

Income Inequality, Race, and the EITC

New grantee research finds the 1993 expansion of the earned income tax credit reduced income inequality among Black and white households in the lower half of the income distribution through a significant employment response among Black households.
March 29, 2022