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The Role of Race and Birth Place in Welfare Usage among Comparable Women: Evidence from the U.S

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  • Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth

    ()
    (Emory University)

  • Oyolola, Maharouf

    ()
    (African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC))

Abstract

There is evidence that women are more likely to live in poverty than men. Given the fact that the poor are more likely to use welfare, it becomes useful to consider welfare usage among women. A-priori welfare programs are set up in such a way that welfare usage should be based primarily on economic needs and health concerns. However, it is possible that an individual’s experiences could affect their perception and preferences for using government assistance. In this scenario, differences in welfare usage will exist for individuals with similar characteristics but different experiences. We explore this possibility among women and investigate if race/ethnicity and birthplace still have a role to play in the decision to use welfare even after controlling for income, health and other demographic factors like employment. We find that race does not matter for welfare usage among comparable women. In addition, we do not find any significant differences in welfare usage among women based on birthplace – suggesting that comparable naturalized and native born women share similar preference for welfare. The only exception is women born in U.S territories. Our results suggest that among comparable women, women born in U.S territories seem to be more inclined to welfare usage in comparison to U.S born White women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5668.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: The Review of Black Political Economy, 2012, 39 (3), 285-297
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5668

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Keywords: race; immigrants; women; welfare usage; black; welfare; birth place; ethnicity; immigrant status;

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  1. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2002. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 2002-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1990. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," NBER Working Papers 3423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The use of transfer payments by immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
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