Impact of the Level of State Tax Code Progressivity on Children's Health Outcomes

Source: Laura Brierton Granruth and Joseph J. Shields, Health and Social Work, Volume 36, Issue 3, August 2011
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From the abstract:
This research study examines the impact of the level of state tax code progressivity on selected children’s health outcomes. Specifically, it examines the degree to which a state’s tax code ranking along the progressive–regressive continuum relates to percentage of low birthweight babies, infant and child mortality rates, and percentage of uninsured children. Using data merged from a number of public data sets, the authors find that the level of state tax code progressivity is a factor in state rates of infant and child mortality. States with lower median incomes and regressive tax policies have the highest rates of infant and child mortality. With regard to the percentage of children 17 years of age and below who lack health insurance, it is found that larger states with regressive tax policies have the largest percentage of uninsured children. In general, more heavily populated states with more progressive tax codes have healthier children. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of tax policy and the well-being of children as well as for social work education, social work practice, and social work research.

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