Safety net investments in children

Hilary W. Hoynes, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In this paper, we examine what groups of children are served by core childhood social safety net programs—including Medicaid, EITC, CTC, SNAP, and AFDC/TANF—and how they have changed over time. We find that virtually all gains in spending on the social safety net for children since 1990 have gone to families with earnings, and to families with income above the poverty line. These trends are the result of welfare reform and the expansion of in-work tax credits. We review the available research and find that access to safety net programs during childhood improves outcomes for children and society over the long run. This evidence suggests that the recent changes to the social safety net may have lasting negative effects on the poorest children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-150
Number of pages62
JournalBrookings Papers on Economic Activity
Issue numberSpring
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Safety net investments in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this