America's children: economic perspectives and policy options

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Science  03 Jan 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5040, pp. 41-46
DOI: 10.1126/science.1553531


American children are worse off than those in the previous generation in several important dimensions of mental, physical, and emotional well-being. During the 1960s cultural changes adversely affected children while their material condition improved substantially. By contrast, material conditions deteriorated in the 1980s, especially among children at the lower end of the income distribution. Public policies to improve the material condition of children require a transfer of resources from households that do not have children to those that do. Government programs such as tax credits and child allowances are more efficient and equitable than employer-mandated programs.