1. Should the U.S. enact a universal child allowance?

    April 30, 2017

    Should the U.S. Enact a Universal Child Allowance?

    WHEN: Monday, May 1st, 1:00 PM-5:30 PM EDT

    WHERE: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC, 20036


    The current tax system provides financial support to some families with children through the administration of a Child Tax Credit (CTC), which can be worth as much as $1,000 per child, in addition to the support provided through the long-standing child tax exemption. Though several policymakers have proposed expanding or amending the CTC to provide additional assistance, the idea of a Universal Child Allowance—which would instead provide a cash grant to all families with children—is also gaining increased attention as a way to help families meet the costs associated with raising a child. Why do countries around the world have such a program and would it make sense in the U.S.? What would such an allowance look like and what would be its benefits and costs?

    On May 1, the Center on Children and Families at Brookings—along with the American Enterprise Institute, the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions, the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Research on Poverty, and Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy—will host leading experts to discuss the current safety net and potential benefits and costs of a Universal Child Allowance. The event will include presentations and discussions of two new papers by proponents of the Universal Child Allowance, and will conclude with keynote remarks by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

    University of Michigan Ewart A. C. Thomas Collegiate Professor of Psychology Vonnie McLloyd will join representatives from the Brookings Institution, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Columbia University to discuss current proposals.

    The event will be live webcast. Join the conversation on Twitter at #ChildAllowance.



    Ron Haskins
    The Cabot Family Chair
    Senior Fellow – Economic Studies
    Co-Director – Center on Children and Families

    Jane Waldfogel
    Compton Foundation Centennial Professor of Social Work for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems – Columbia University

    Panel 1: Setting the context
    Kathy Edin of Johns Hopkins University will present on “Problems with the Current U.S. Safety Net,” after which Vonnie McLoyd of the University of Michigan will present on “Why Money Matters.” A panel discussion will take place moderated by Richard V. Reeves.

    Richard V. Reeves
    Senior Fellow – Economic Studies
    Co-Director – Center on Children and Families

    Kathy Edin
    Professor – Johns Hopkins University
    View presentation

    Vonnie McLoyd
    Professor – University of Michigan
    View Presentation

    Olivia Golden
    Executive Director – CLASP

    Ramesh Ponnuru
    Senior Editor – National Review
    Visiting Fellow – AEI

    Panel 2: Proposals for a universal child allowance
    Following a presentation by Columbia University’s Chris Wimer Chris Wimer on research conducted with Poverty Solutions at U-M Director Luke Shaefer and other co-authors: “A universal child allowance: A plan to reduce poverty and income instability among children,” and Samuel Hammond of the Niskanen Center of his paper “Toward a universal child benefit,” AEI’s Aparna Mathur will lead a panel discussion of proposals for a universal child allowance.

    Aparna Mathur
    Resident Scholar, Economic Policy – American Enterprise InstituteChris Wimer
    Co-Director, Center on Poverty and Social Policy -Columbia University
    View Presentation

    Samuel Hammond
    Poverty and Welfare Analyst – Niskanen Center

    Melissa Boteach
    Vice President, Poverty to Prosperity Program – Center for American Progress

    Scott Winship
    Project Director – Joint Economic Committee

    Maria Cancian
    Professor – University of Wisconsin

    Keynote Remarks
    Robert Doar
    Resident Fellow and Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies – American Enterprise Institute

    Ron Haskins
    The Cabot Family Chair
    Senior Fellow – Economic Studies
    Co-Director – Center on Children and Families

    Keynote Remarks
    The Honorable Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
    The U.S. House of Representatives

    Jared Bernstein
    Senior Fellow – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


    For more information, visit the Brookings Institution event site.