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The Impact of Welfare Waivers on Female Headship Decisions

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  • David C Ribar
  • John M Fitgerald

Abstract

While much of the focus of recent welfare reforms has been on moving recipients from welfare to work, many reforms were also directed at affecting decisions about living arrangements, pregnancy, marriage and cohabitation. This paper focuses on women’s decisions to become or remain unmarried mothers, that is, female heads of families. We assess the impact of welfare reform waivers on those decisions while controlling for confounding local economic and social contextual conditions. We pool the 1990, 1992, and 1993 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) which span the calendar time when many states began adopting welfare waivers. For its descriptors of local labor market conditions, the project uses skill specific measures of wages and employment opportunities for counties. We estimate models for levels of female headship and proportional hazard models for entry and exit from female headship. In the hazards, we employ stratified Cox partial likelihood methods and investigate the use of state fixed effects or state stratified hazard models to control for unmeasured state influences. Based on data through 1995, we find limited evidence that workencouraging waivers had a beneficial effect by reducing female headship of families. We find little evidence that family caps, teenage coresidence requirements or termination limits will reduce the number of single-parent families.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 03-03.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:03-03

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Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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References

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  1. Matthews, S. & Ribar, D. & Wilhelm, M., 1995. "The Effects of Economic Conditions and Access to Reproductive Health Services on State Abortion and Birth Rates," Papers 7-95-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. Rebecca M. Blank, 1997. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," NBER Working Papers 6343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher A. Swann, 2004. "Welfare Reform when Recipients are Forward-Looking," Department of Economics Working Papers 04-04, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jeff Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 2000. "Welfare Dynamics under Time Limits," JCPR Working Papers 125, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Robert Moffitt & Robert Reville & Anne Winkler, 1998. "Beyond single mothers: Cohabitation and marriage in the AFDC program," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 259-278, August.
  6. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Adapting to Circumstances: The Evolution of Work, School, and Living Arrangements Among North American Youth," NBER Working Papers 6142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lerman, Robert I, 1996. "The Impact of the Changing US Family Structure on Child Poverty and Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages S119-39, Suppl..
  8. David N. Figlio & James P. Ziliak, 1999. "Welfare Reform, the Business Cycle, and the Decline in AFDC Caseloads," JCPR Working Papers 77, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  9. Schultz, T.P., 1993. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Papers 703, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  10. David C. Ribar, 2005. "Transitions from Welfare and the Employment Prospects of Low-Skill Workers," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 514-533, January.
  11. Lillard, Lee A., 1993. "Simultaneous equations for hazards : Marriage duration and fertility timing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 189-217, March.
  12. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
  13. David C Ribar, 2000. "County-Level Estimates of the Employment Prospects of Low-Skill Workers," Working Papers 00-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. 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.
  15. Saul D. Hoffman & E. Michael Foster, 1997. "AFDC Benefits and Nonmarital Births to Young Women," JCPR Working Papers 3, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  16. Carol Harvey & Michael J. Camasso & Radha Jagannathan, 2000. "Evaluating Welfare Reform Waivers under Section 1115," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 165-188, Fall.
  17. Ridder, G. & Tunali, I., 1997. "Stratified Partial Likelihood Estimation," Papers 1997/17, Koc University.
  18. Ann E. Horvath-Rose & H. Elizabeth Peters, 2000. "Welfare Waivers and Non-Marital Childbearing," JCPR Working Papers 128, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  19. repec:fth:prinin:386 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Robert A. Moffitt & LaDonna Pavetti, 1999. "Time Limits," JCPR Working Papers 91, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  21. Williamson Hoyne, Hilary, 1997. "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 89-117, August.
  22. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "The effect of the U.S. welfare system on marital status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 101-124, February.
  23. Fitzgerald John M, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Welfare Benefits on Welfare Durations: State Stratified Partial Likelihood and Fixed Effect Approaches," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, February.
  24. Jeffrey Grogger, 2001. "The Effects of Time Limits and Other Policy Changes on Welfare Use, Work, and Income Among Female-Headed Families," NBER Working Papers 8153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan F. Pingle, 2003. "What if welfare had no work requirements? the age of youngest child exemption and the rise in employment of single mothers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. 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.
  3. Fitzgerald, John M. & Ribar, David C., 2003. "Transitions in Welfare Participation and Female Headship," IZA Discussion Papers 895, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Robert Moffitt, 2002. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Working Papers 8749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Suzanne Ryan & Jennifer Manlove & Sandra Hofferth, 2006. "State-level Welfare Policies and Nonmarital Subsequent Childbearing," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 103-126, 02.
  6. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Child support liability and partnership dissolution," IFS Working Papers W04/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Child Support and Partnership Dissolution: Evidence from the UK," Studies in Economics 0408, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  8. Ann Horvath-Rose & H. Peters & Joseph Sabia, 2008. "Capping Kids: The Family Cap and Nonmarital Childbearing," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 119-138, April.
  9. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
  10. Joseph Sabia, 2008. "Blacks and the family cap: pregnancy, abortion, and spillovers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 111-134, January.

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