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The interaction between single mothers' living arrangements and welfare participation

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  • Rebecca A London

    (Berkeley Planning Associates, Oakland, CA.)

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    Abstract

    This article examines the interaction between single mothers' living arrangements and their welfare participation, taking into account the endogeneity embedded in the two decisions. Using data from the 1990 Survey of Income and Program Participation, I estimate a two-stage instrumental variables model and simulate the effects of partial- and full-family benefit reductions on both the distribution of living arrangements and the rate of welfare participation. Tabulations show that 62 percent of single mothers live independently, 16 percent live in the home of their parents, 12 percent cohabit with an unrelated man, and 11 percent share with others. Reductions in combined AFDC and food stamp benefits increase mothers' probability of living with their parents relative to living independently, cohabiting, or sharing with others. Benefit reductions also decrease the probability of welfare receipt. The resulting drop in the participation rate is even more pronounced once the simultaneous effect on the distribution of living arrangements is taken into account. The implication of these findings is that policies aimed at reducing welfare caseloads may have the unanticipated effect of shifting families' living arrangements, potentially confounding the impacts of policy changes in either positive or negative ways. © 2000 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 19 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 93-117

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:19:y:2000:i:1:p:93-117

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

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    References

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    1. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1993. "When Do Women Use AFDC & Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility vs. Participation," NBER Working Papers 4429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert Hutchens & George Jakubson & Saul Schwartz, 1989. "AFDC and the Formation of Subfamilies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 599-628.
    3. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2009. "Caught in the Trap? The Disincentive Effect of Social Assistance," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-10, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    2. repec:fth:prinin:468 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Carolyn J. Heinrich & Rachel Gordon, 2002. "Is a Family-focused Program More Effective in Helping Low-Income Parents Enter the Workforce? Insights from a Multimethod Evaluation of the Jobs for Youth/Full Family Partnership Demonstration," JCPR Working Papers 271, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    4. Marah Curtis & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Fertility Timing of Unmarried and Married Mothers: Evidence on Variation Across U.S. Cities from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 28(5), pages 569-588, October.
    5. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Scott Houser, 2002. "How well can we track cohabitation using the sipp? A consideration of direct and inferred measures," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 455-465, August.
    6. Audrey Light & Manuelita Ureta, 2003. "Living Arrangements, Employment Status, and the Economic Well-Being of Mothers: Evidence from Brazil, Chile and the United States," Working Papers 03-06, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Sara McLanahan, 2002. "The Living Arrangements of New Unmarried Mothers," JCPR Working Papers 262, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Leonard M. Lopoo & Thomas DeLeire, 2006. "Did welfare reform influence the fertility of young teens?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 275-298.
    9. Fein, David J., 2001. "Will welfare reform influence marriage and fertility? Early evidence from the ABC demonstration," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 427-444, November.
    10. Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Sara McLanahan, 2002. "The living arrangements of new unmarried mothers," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 415-433, August.

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