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A universal child allowance

  • H. Luke Shaefer, Sophie Collyer, Greg Duncan, Kathryn Edin, Irwin Garfinkel, David Harris, Timothy Smeeding, Jane Waldfogel, Christopher Wimer, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa
  • Special Issue 2017
  • Focus-33-3d
  • Link to foc333d (PDF)
  • Link to foc333sup (PDF)

In order to reduce the high rate of child poverty in the United States and eliminate extreme poverty (cash income of $2 per person, per day), we, a group of 10 poverty scholars, propose replacing the Child Tax Credit and the child tax exemption with a universal monthly child allowance of $250. This amount could be higher for young children, and could be lowered for additional children. This allowance would go a long way in meeting the basic needs of children, and distribution of payments on a monthly rather than annual basis would help reduce income instability among low-income families.


Child Poverty, Children, Economic Support, Financial Security, Social Insurance Programs