New Study Finds Advance Child Tax Credits Reduced US Food Insufficiency by 26%

Originally posted on BU Center for Antiracist Research.

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Shafer and colleagues for their recent JAMA Network Open publication: ‘Association of the Implementation of Child Tax Credit Advance Payments With Food Insufficiency in US Households’.

As their new cross-sectional study demonstrates, using repeated surveys of a nationally representative sample of U.S. households, the introduction of advance payments for the Child Tax Credit was associated with a significant reduction in household food insufficiency of approximately 26%.

The paper is the first peer-reviewed study to establish how the advance Child Tax Credit payments acted as a buffer against food insufficiency among households with children. This buffer was especially important for Black and Hispanic families, as the study authors found that, “non-Hispanic Asian and White individuals consistently reported the lowest rates of household food insufficiency, while non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and all other individuals reported rates higher than the national mean.”

The federal pandemic benefit, which provided the majority of American households with an extra $250-$300 per month, expired on December 31, and now experts worry low-income families will struggle to afford adequate food and other necessities.

The outreach and advocacy work for this research was supported by the BU Center for Research through our Research & Policy Teams and our Racial Data Lab.