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Does AFDC-up encourage two-parent families?

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  • Anne E. Winkler

    (Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy Administration, Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis)

Abstract

Effective October 1990, the Family Support Act (FSA) of 1988 extended the previously state-optional AFDC-Unemployed Parent (UP) program to all states. This policy was undertaken in an effort to reduce the two-parent penalty of the AFDC program, but little is actually known about UP and its influence on family structure. This study clarifies what is meant by “two-parent family” in the federal legislation and provides new evidence on AFDC's incentive effects. The empirical analysis makes use of the cross-state variation in the generosity of AFDC benefits and the presence (or absence) of AFDC-UP before the FSA of 1988. Specifically, these state-level data are appended to data from the 1987 National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). A real advantage of the NSFH is that it allows for the identification of those truly eligible for the UP program-married and unmarried couples who have an “in-common” dependent child. The major empirical finding is that contrary to the hopes of Congress, a state's provision of a UP program is not found to encourage two-parent families.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 14 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 4-24

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:14:y:1995:i:1:p:4-24

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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  1. Susan Feigenbaum & Lynn Karoly & David Levy, 1988. "When votes are words not deeds: Some evidence from the Nuclear Freeze Referendum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 201-216, September.
  2. Glen G. Cain, 1986. "The issues of marital stability and family composition and the income maintenance experiments," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 30, pages 60-105.
  3. G. Acs, . "The impact of AFDC on young women's childbearing decisions," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1011-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. Hosek, James R, 1980. "Determinants of Family Participation in the AFDC-Unemployed Fathers Program," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 466-70, August.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. R. A. Moffitt & R. Reville & A. E. Winkler, . "Beyond single mothers: Cohabition, marriage, and the U.S. welfare system," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1068-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  3. Kristen Harknett & Lisa Gennetian, 2003. "How an earnings supplement can affect union formation among low-income single mothers," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 451-478, August.
  4. R. A. Moffitt, . "The Effect of Welfare on Marriage and Fertility: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1153-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  5. Tracy Roberts & Steven Martin, 2010. "Welfare Exit, Marriage, and Welfare Recidivism: A Reevaluation of Patterns of the 1980s and 1990s," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 105-125, April.
  6. H. W. Hoynes, . "Work, Welfare, and Family Structure: A Review of the Evidence," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1103-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  7. Gregory Acs & Sandi Nelson, 2004. "Changes in living arrangements during the late 1990s: Do welfare policies matter?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 273-290.
  8. S. Dickert-Conlin & S. Houser, . "EITC, AFDC, and the Female Headship Decision," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1192-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  9. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Houser, Scott, 1998. "Taxes and Transfers: A New Look at the Marriage Penalty," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 175-217, June.
  10. Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1998. "Will Extending Medicaid to Two-Parent Families Encourage Marriage?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 833-865.

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