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The Impact of Welfare Reform on the Employment and Labor Supply of Female High School Dropouts

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  • Jeffrey T. Lewis
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    Abstract

    Welfare participation began to decline dramatically and low-skill female employment began to rise substantially in the United States during the 1990's. Two competing explanations for these developments are the strong economy and welfare reform. Using pooled cross-sectional data from the 1989-2004 CPS-ORG surveys and employing a sample of female high school dropouts that is not restricted to unmarried women or single mothers, I find that TANF is associated with an increase in both employment and labor supply. The results in this paper, then, strengthen the case in the literature that it was not just the strong economy but also federal welfare reform that contributed to the work gains of low-skill women in the post-1996 period.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by New York State Economics Association (NYSEA) in its journal New York Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 37-60

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    Handle: RePEc:nye:nyervw:v:38:y:2007:i:1:p:37-60

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Robert Kaestner & Neeraj Kaushal, 2001. "Immigrant and Native Responses to Welfare Reform," NBER Working Papers 8541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Papers 00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    3. Rebecca M. Blank & Robert F. Schoeni, 2003. "Changes in the Distribution of Children's Family Income over the 1990's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 304-308, May.
    4. Hanming Fang & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Assessing the Impact of Welfare Reform on Single Mothers," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 1-116.
    5. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2002. "The Impact of Welfare Reform on Living Arrangements," NBER Working Papers 8784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2003. "Welfare Reform and Children's Living Arrangements," Working Papers 111, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    7. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2002. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Working Paper 2002-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2003. "Some Evidence on Race, Welfare Reform, and Household Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 293-298, May.
    11. Rebecca M. Blank, 2001. "Declining caseloads/increased work: what can we conclude about the effects of welfare reform?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 25-36.
    12. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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