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Jacob Bastian is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Rutgers University. Jacob’s Research focuses on how public policy can reduce poverty, increase economic opportunity, and affect social attitudes, while also identifying unintended consequences.

Jacob Bastian will be presenting via Zoom


There is a strong and growing interest in helping families move to areas with higher economic opportunity. We exploit variation in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to examine how relaxing credit constraints affects migration, with a focus on women from rural and economically distressed areas. We find that relaxing credit constraints increases migration out of rural and distressed areas, to areas with higher labor force participation and lower unemployment rates. Many of these moves occur across counties or commuting zones, but we find no effect on moving across states. We also find decreases in living doubled-up with another family, and reductions in commute length. We are the first to show that the EITC relaxes credit constraints and helps women move to economic opportunity.