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Each spring, millions of Americans file federal income tax returns and receive tax refunds. For many, these refunds are attributable, in large part, to two refundable tax credits—the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the child tax credit (CTC). By reducing taxes and providing tax refunds, these credits help families pay for essentials like food, clothing, and housing. The EITC and CTC also allow them to keep more of their take-home pay. There is broad consensus that among major federal assistance programs, the EITC and CTC are among the most successful at alleviating child poverty, and they have also been shown to improve infant health, maternal health, children’s cognitive outcomes, educational attainment, and employment for single mothers.
The community development field faces new and unprecedented challenges stemming from the pandemic and stay-at-home policies. Indeed, the pandemic laid bare longstanding issues around structural racism, economic inequality, and limited social mobility in our most vulnerable communities. The fundamentals of community-building offer insights, and past redevelopment interventions that harmonized diverse actors and resources can inform current efforts to bring about a more inclusive recovery. As an example, the New Communities Program (NCP) provided a framework for the redevelopment of many Chicago neighborhoods over a decade between 2001 and 2011. This article explores the lessons learned from the NCP, as well as the durable gains—tangible and intangible—experienced by NCP communities.
In a paper forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics, my co-author and I estimate the impact of Ford Motor Company’s wage policies using data from the first half of the twentieth century. We find that equal pay policies at Ford substantially reduced the gap in wages earned by Black workers compared with White workers not only at Ford, but throughout the Southeast Michigan region. By 1947, the regional wage gap was around half what it would have been absent Ford’s equal pay policies. In this article, I summarize our work and highlight some important findings.
Not every city in the U.S. has Chicago’s rich history of Black middle class neighborhoods. This article analyzes data on key aspects of the changes that have taken places in the last few decades in traditionally middle income/middle class minority neighborhoods of Chicago.
This article highlights personal perspectives on the barriers to employment among low- and moderate-income workers in spite of a national economy that, until the Covid-19 pandemic, was quite robust.