Tax Policy Center



Melissa M. Favreault

Senior Fellow

I was drawn to Urban because of its rich history of rigorously examining social problems and policy options using innovative methods like distributional models and audit studies. Our distributional analyses attempt to answer ‘what if?’ questions about social programs, including Medicare and Social Security. Our models can help reveal the cumulative effects that differences in early-life opportunities have in shaping treatment in later life. If we can better understand how advantages and disadvantages compound, we may be able to develop stronger policies.

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In recognition of the important work family caregivers do, the Economic Security Project (ESP) has proposed that they be eligible for the cost-of-living refund, an expansion of the earned income tax credit (EITC). Among other changes to the EITC, the cost-of-living refund would extend benefits...

January 30, 2020
Elaine MaagMelissa M. FavreaultNikhita Airi
Research report

Distributional analyses play a prominent role in policy discussions. Both tax and transfer policy have important distributional consequences, but traditionally they have been examined separately. This report describes a new methodology for integrated distributional analysis that imports results...

September 29, 2017
Gordon B. MerminFrank SammartinoMatthew BuettgensMelissa M. FavreaultElaine Maag

This paper reviews why Social Security fails to lift more aged low-wage workers and people of color out of poverty. It examines the payroll tax and benefit formula and reviews literature about OASDI outcomes by race, gender, and earnings level. It describes how mortality, earnings, disability,...

November 25, 2008
Melissa M. FavreaultGordon B. Mermin

From TaxVox