Postdoctoral Researcher

About Jacob Bastian

Jacob Bastian is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. His research focuses on how public policy can reduce poverty, increase economic opportunity, and encourage egalitarian social attitudes. Specifically, his current research looks at the Earned Income Tax Credit and finds that this program helped lead to the rise of working mothers in the 1970s (PDF), improved the education and employment outcomes of children of EITC recipients (PDF), changed social attitudes about the role of women in society (PDF), and had positive effects on marriage and fertility (PDF). 

Jacob's dissertation was chosen as a winner of the 2017 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertations in Government Finance and Taxation by the National Tax Association.

A new research project that Jacob is excited about uses linked administrative CPS-IRS data and finds that the EITC largely pays for itself. Since the EITC requires that participants work, this generates payroll and sales tax revenue, and decreases reliance on public assistance. The EITC also improves health, decreases crime, and improves economic outcomes of children of EITC recipients. Together, these results suggest that the EITC more than pays for itself. Marginal treatment effects suggest that additional state and federal EITC expansions today would continue to offset most of their own cost.

His research fields include labor and public economics, economic demography, and economic history. Before at the University of Chicago, Jacob completed a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Michigan, as well as an M.A. in Economics at New York University and a B.A. in Mathematics.