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Changes in the welfare caseload and the health of low-educated mothers

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  • Robert Kaestner

    (University of Illinois, Chicago)

  • Elizabeth Tarlov

    (Midwest Center for Health Services)

Abstract

Declines in the welfare caseload in the late 1990s brought significant change to the lives of many low-educated, single mothers. Many single mothers left welfare and entered the labor market and others found different ways to avoid going on public assistance. These changes may have affected the health and health behaviors of these women. To date, there has been little study of this issue. In this paper, we obtained estimates of the association between changes in the welfare caseload caused by welfare policy, and four health behaviors-smoking, drinking, diet, and exercise-and four self-reported measures of health-weight, days in poor mental health, days in poor physical health, and general health status. The results of our study reveal that recent declines in the welfare caseload were associated with less binge drinking, but otherwise welfare reform had little effect on health and health behaviors. © 2006 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): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 623-643

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:25:y:2006:i:3:p:623-643

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

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References

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  1. Peter Gottschalk, 2005. "Can work alter welfare recipients' beliefs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 485-498.
  2. Steven J. Haider & Alison Jacknowitz & Robert F. Schoeni, 2002. "Welfare Work Requirements and Individual Well-being: Evidence from the Effects on Breastfeeding," Working Papers 02-01, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  3. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," IZA Discussion Papers 711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  6. Christopher Ruhm, 1994. "Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems," NBER Working Papers 4914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Cawley & Sheldon Danziger, 2005. "Morbid obesity and the transition from welfare to work," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 727-743.
  8. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," NBER Working Papers 10549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert Kaestner & Won Chan Lee, 2003. "The Effect of Welfare Reform on Prenatal Care and Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 9769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Greg Duncan & P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, 2001. "Welfare Reform and Child Well-being," JCPR Working Papers 217, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  11. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. John Murray, 2000. "Marital protection and marital selection: Evidence from a historical-prospective sample of American men," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 511-521, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Jean Knab & Sara McLanahan & Irv Garfinkel, 2007. "The Effects of Welfare and Child Support Policies on Maternal Health and Wellbeing," Working Papers 931, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  2. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2005. "Welfare Reform and Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  3. Marianne Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Indirect Impacts on Health," NBER Working Papers 12642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dhaval Dave & Hope Corman & Nancy Reichman, 2012. "Effects of Welfare Reform on Education Acquisition of Adult Women," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 251-282, June.

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