Media Name: maag-elaine.jpg
Elaine Maag
Senior Fellow
Codirector, Innovations in Cash Assistance for Children
Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
The tax system can be a powerful tool to improve economic well-being for many. It is essential that it be designed in a way that is easy to access and administer.

Elaine Maag is a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute and a codirector of Innovations in Cash Assistance for Children. She is an expert on the taxation of low- and middle-income families. Her work examines the interactions between tax and transfer programs, the impact of cash supports, how well taxes support families, and the administration of tax and transfer programs.

Maag has testified before state and federal congressional committees and advised congressional staff members and administration officials on the taxation of families with children and on higher education and work incentives in the tax code. Maag codirected the creation of the Net Income Change Calculator, a tool that allows users to understand the trade-offs between tax and transfer benefits and changes in earnings or marital status. 

Before joining Urban, Maag worked at the Internal Revenue Service and at the Government Accountability Office as a presidential management fellow.

Maag holds an MS in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester.

Maag is a board member of the Commonwealth Institute (Virginia), a member of the Code for America Tax Benefits Advisory Committee, and a member of the Humanity Forward Policy Council.

Research Areas
Children and youth
Economic mobility and inequality
Taxes and budgets
Social safety net
Taxes and social policy
Earned income tax credit
Child care subsidies
Child care
Children's budget
Student parents
Child Tax Credit
Economic well-being
Families with low incomes
Individual taxes
Spending on children