The effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credits on suicides

Lenhart, Otto (2019) The effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credits on suicides. Health Economics. ISSN 1057-9230

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    Abstract

    This study examines the relationship between state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) laws in the U.S. on suicides. Following findings in previous work showing that the EITC is associated with lower depression rates and reduced number of risky biomarkers, I estimate the effects of state EITC generosity on suicide rates. Using data for the years 1996 to 2016, a period with 74 state-level EITC policy changes, I find that introducing a high state EITC rate reduces suicide rates for adults aged 25 or above by 3.91 percent. The results are consistent across four different measures of EITC generosity.