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Welfare Reform and Non-Marital Fertility in the 1990s: Evidence from Birth Records

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Author Info

  • Joyce Ted

    ()
    (Baruch College, City University of NY)

  • Kaestner Robert

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Korenman Sanders

    ()
    (Baruch College, CUNY and NBER)

Abstract

The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act dramatically altered the economic incentive to bear children out-of-wedlock for economically disadvantaged women or couples most likely to avail themselves of welfare programs. We use data from vital statistics and a difference-in-differences research design to investigate whether state and federal welfare reform in the 1990s reduced rates of non-marital childbearing among women aged 19 to 39 at highest risk of welfare use, relative to women at lower risk. We find little consistent evidence for an effect of welfare reform on non-marital childbearing. This finding is similar to the literature that found little or mixed evidence for an effect of AFDC benefits. If anything, federal welfare reform has been associated with a small positive effect of two to three percent for white and black women ages 19 to 39.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 1-36

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:advances.3:y:2003:i:1:n:6

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  1. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1027-62, December.
  2. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," NBER Working Papers 7491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  4. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
  5. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2002. "Is There an Effect of Incremental Welfare Benefits on Fertility Behavior? A Look at the Family Cap," NBER Working Papers 9093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert F. Schoeni & Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 7627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jeffrey Grogger, 2004. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  8. Marcia K. Meyers & Janet C. Gornick & Laura R. Peck, 2001. "Packaging Support for Low-Income Families: Policy Variation across the United States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 457-483.
  9. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  10. Ann E. Horvath-Rose & H. Elizabeth Peters, 2000. "Welfare Waivers and Non-Marital Childbearing," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 128, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  11. Neeraj Kaushal & Robert Kaestner, 2001. "From Welfare to Work: Has Welfare Reform Worked?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 699-719.
  12. Robert A. Moffitt, 1999. "The Effect of Pre-PRWORA Waivers on AFDC Caseloads and Female Earnings, Income, and Labor Force Behavior," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 89, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  13. Dave M. O'Neill & June Ellenoff O'Neill, 1997. "Lessons for Welfare Reform: An Analysis of the AFDC Caseload and Past Welfare-to-Work Programs," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lwr.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:lan:wpaper:2161 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Korenman Sanders & Joyce Ted & Kaestner Robert & Walper Jennifer, 2006. "What Did the "Illegitimacy Bonus" Reward?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-36, April.
  3. Paul Bingley & Ian Walker, 2013. "The labour supply effects of a partial cash-out of in-kind transfers to single mothers," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-27, December.
  4. repec:lan:wpaper:2277 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. repec:lan:wpaper:2415 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. repec:lan:wpaper:599359 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:lan:wpaper:2159 is not listed on IDEAS

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