In the U.S., the key challenge for many households is housing affordability. Households paying more than one-half of a limited total income for rent have very little left over for food, transportation, education, and other critical expenses. And these rent burdens have only been growing. In 1960, fewer than one in four renters was rent-burdened (or paid more than 30 percent of their income on rent); today that fraction is nearly half.
Income and Wealth
While multiple studies show a positive association between employment status and improved physical and mental health, it is unclear whether this relationship is causal. Building on work in Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, the research team will analyze the effects of Medicaid work requirements on coverage rates, access to care, and employment among low-income adults.
In 2017, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton coined the phrase “deaths of despair” to describe a troubling rise of Americans dying from suicide, drugs (including opioids) and alcoholism. Experts across the country are now attempting to tease apart the complex factors driving these trends, but until now, no one has examined the potentially causal effects of decreases in real minimum wages in relation to this trend or the potential benefits of rising minimum wages in counteracting other drivers of this trend, despite a strong evidence base linking income and health.
Transfers and work supports such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) increase family resources, and may enable households to make critical investments in their members’ health and human capital. Yet not all eligible households claim this tax credit, losing out on income support that can have potentially large effects on health, education, and other dimensions of well-being of family members.
Research has shown the crucial importance of household income in shaping child health, but we have limited understanding of the actual health impacts of high profile income-related policies such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Furthermore, state-level initiatives in this domain are particularly active and promising for future innovation. In this study, the research team will first investigate the multi-dimensional child health effects of state EITC expansions.
Income is considered one of the key underlying social determinants of health. However, there has been relatively limited research on the health effects of policies designed to increase income for vulnerable families.
Low-income housing assistance programs represent a potentially powerful policy lever to promote population health and reduce health disparities. Yet, research on the impact of federal low-income housing programs on health outcomes remains highly limited, and no study to date has adequately explored whether the monetary value of housing assistance has an impact on health outcomes.
Starting January 1, 2018, New York State’s Paid Family Leave Act—a new state law mandating that employers provide paid family leave benefits through an employee-paid insurance policy—will be effective. This study will evaluate the impact of this law, focusing on three questions: