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Regional Welfare Programs and Labor Force Participation

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  • Sonya Kostova Huffman
  • Maureen Kilkenny

Abstract

Welfare program dependency and expenditures rise during recessions, while income tax revenues from working people fall. Thus, now that states are responsible for their own welfare programs, they need to know how responsive their citizens are to workplace and safety net opportunities. This paper investigates household welfare program and labor force participation behavior. A choice-theoretic model is developed and estimated for each of the four census regions (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) using cross-sectional data on households, labor markets, and policies. We show that household responses to welfare program parameters do differ regionally. But we find that labor supply does not depend on welfare program participation or program payoffs. Furthermore, unlike under the previous welfare program, participation in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) does not significantly reduce household labor supply. The finding of significant differences across regions justifies the efficiency rationale for the devolution of authority to the states. We also discuss how states may be able to contain expenditures on welfare programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 02-wp296.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:02-wp296

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Keywords: labor force participation; regional welfare program participation; state welfare policies; TANF; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.;

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Cited by:
  1. Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere & Maharouf Oyolola, 2011. "Do Immigrant Groups Differ in Welfare Usage? Evidence from the U.S," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 39(3), pages 231-247, September.
  2. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2011. "Welfare regimes and the incentives to work and get educated," Working Papers 2011-01, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  3. Gorton, Matthew & Sauer, Johannes & Supatpongkul, Pajaree, 2009. "Investigating Thai Shopping Behavior: Wet-Markets, Supermarkets and the ‘Big Middle’," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50332, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth & Oyolola, Maharouf, 2009. "Welfare Usage in the U.S.: Does Immigrant Birthplace and Immigration Status Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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