Boosting Take-Up of the CTC

Last registered on January 25, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Boosting Take-Up of the CTC
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008860
Initial registration date
January 25, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 25, 2022, 11:57 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of California, San Diego
PI Affiliation
University of California, San Diego

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-01-24
End date
2025-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The expanded CTC pays a direct cash benefit of $3,000 for children ages 6-17 in tax year 2021 ($3600 for younger children). The benefit is available to families without income, and even if the child’s parents are undocumented. Despite the generosity of this program, the US Treasury estimates that take up is incomplete. We propose an information and counseling intervention coupled with outreach and assistance through trusted partners to increase take-up of the Child Tax Credit in San Diego County with the hope of studying the effect of additional income from tax credits on school achievement and child well-being, such as parental labor supply, mental health, and food insufficiency.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Berman , Eli, Julian Betts and Beata Luczywek. 2022. "Boosting Take-Up of the CTC." AEA RCT Registry. January 25. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8860
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of two phases and will be administered to all families in the treatment group.

Phase I—text message intervention: The treatment families will be contacted by the research team, who will send text messages that intent to inform families about the new CTC, eligibility requirements, how to claim the CTC (how to file taxes), and address potential hesitancies or barriers to filing.

Phase II—filing a tax return: The research team will set up appointments for families with tax specialists at a local nonprofit, that runs an annual IRS VITA program (volunteer income tax assistance), which provides free tax prep for low- and moderate-income filers.
Intervention Start Date
2022-02-02
Intervention End Date
2022-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes of interest from the first stage are: Take-up of the CTC (1/0), Filed a tax return (1/0), income from tax credits.

The primary outcomes of interest from the second stage are: test scores (education domain) and parental labor supply (behavioral response domain).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The secondary outcomes of interest from the second stage are: attendance (number of days), academic and behavioral grades, physical fitness grades, course completion, food sufficiency, and mental health outcomes.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In the first stage, a randomized controlled trial is utilized to measure the casual effect of the intervention on take-up. In the second stage, the randomized control trial will measure the causal effect of income from tax credits on child welfare outcomes.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Families are randomly assigned into either a treatment or control group using Stata’s random number generator. Randomization occurs on the family level. Some families may have multiple children. All children that belong to a single family will be assigned to the same experimental group. To maximize power, eligible families will be split between the treatment and control group 50/50. We may learn that we have excess demand, in which case, we would give preference to families that have not been receiving advanced monthly payments of the CTC. In case we are oversubscribed, we will exclude some families who have received advanced payments from the sample.
Randomization Unit
Families/parents
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
500-2,000 families
Sample size: planned number of observations
500-4,000 students/children (based on estimate of 1-2 children aged 0-17 in each participating family)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250-1,000 families (equal number in treatment and control)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
With a sample size of 2,000 students/children, the minimum detectable effect size is 0.09.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Boosting Take-Up of the CTC
IRB Approval Date
2022-01-07
IRB Approval Number
#800798