Examining the Effects of the 2021 Child Tax Credit Expansion on Child Health: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From National Surveys

Project Summary

The 2021 expansion of the US Child Tax Credit reduced child poverty by 40%. Limited research has examined the impacts of this policy on health. The project team will assess the effects of the 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion on perinatal and child health. The team has a specific focus on understanding how the impacts of the CTC expansion impacted people differently based on race and ethnicity.

Research Question(s)

  1. Examine the effects of the 2021 CTC expansion on racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal health.
  2. Examine the effects of the 2021 CTC expansion on racial and ethnic disparities in child health. 


  1. Inform federal and state policymakers and other community stakeholders about the CTC expansion’s effects on child health equity
  2. Contribute to ongoing discussions on making the CTC expansion permanent

Racial Equity Implications

Historical and current structural racism leads to racial and ethnic inequities in child health and maternal health, as well as upstream factors like food and housing security, healthcare access, neighborhood conditions, and more. The CTC expansion alleviated families’ material hardship and significantly reduced child poverty, and thus had strong potential to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in child health. 


Outcomes of interest include birth outcomes, breastfeeding initiation and duration, healthcare utilization (well-baby checkups), self/caregiver-rated health, and food security.

Outcomes & Methodology

The team will conduct quasi-experimental analyses in two large national public data sets that include data on maternal and child health and demographics. 

Diverse group of kids running on the grass toward the camera smiling
Grantee and Partner organizations

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
University of California San Francisco

Grant status
In Progress
Principal investigators
Rita Hamad, PhD, MD
Guangyi Wang, PhD
Start date
Award amount
24 months

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