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Welfare Reforms and Child Well-Being in the US and UK

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  • Jane Waldfogel
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the effects of recent welfare reforms in the US and UK on the well-being of children in low-income families, looking specifically at the effects on poverty, family expenditures, and child health and development. The paper finds some commonalities but also some notable differences. Common to both countries is a sizable reduction in child poverty, although the reduction in child poverty in the US has been less, and some families appear to have been left behind. Expenditure data also point to divergence across the two countries. In the UK, low-income families affected by the reforms are spending more money on items related to children and are more likely to own a car and a phone, while in the US, families affected by welfare reforms are primarily spending more money on items related to employment but not items for children. Finally, a common finding across countries is a relative dearth of more direct evidence on the well-being of children, and specifically how the reforms have affected child health and development. Identifying such effects remains an important topic for further research.

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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/CASEpaper126.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE in its series CASE Papers with number /126.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:/126

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    Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/default.asp

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    Keywords: welfare; poverty; expenditures; child well-being;

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    References

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    1. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Steven Haider & Alison Jacknowitz & Robert Schoeni, 2003. "Welfare work requirements and child well-being: Evidence from the effects on breast-feeding," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 479-497, August.
    4. Marianne Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Indirect Impacts on Health," NBER Working Papers 12642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lesley J. Turner & Sheldon Danziger & Kristin S. Seefeldt, 2006. "Failing the Transition from Welfare to Work: Women Chronically Disconnected from Employment and Cash Welfare," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(2), pages 227-249.
    6. Hills, John, 2004. "Inequality and the State," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199276646, Octomber.
    7. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," JCPR Working Papers 152, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
    9. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2006. "Consumption, Income, and Material Well-Being After Welfare Reform," NBER Working Papers 11976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2001. "The Effects of Welfare and Tax Reform: The Material Well-Being of Single Mothers in the 1980s and 1990s," NBER Working Papers 8298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1027-62, December.
    12. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jane Waldfogel & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2011. "Early years policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43728, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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