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Demographic Change and Public Assistance Programs

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  • Robert A. Moffitt

Abstract

Growth in overall real welfare expenditures per capita has been a noted trend in the last thirty years in the U.S. The influence of demographic forces in contributing to this growth is considered in this paper. It is found that the growth of female-headed families is the strongest and dominant force in contributing to trends in real AFDC expenditures per capita over the long run. The influence of demographic growth is especially strong for the black population. For the Food Stamp and Medicaid programs, increases in participation rates, on the other hand, have been more important. Projections of future trends in the age, race, and sex composition of the U.S. population show that expenditures in none of these programs is likely to respond to such basic demographic trends, however.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6995.

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Date of creation: Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6995

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  1. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
  2. Moffitt, Robert & Ribar, David & Wilhelm, Mark, 1998. "The decline of welfare benefits in the U.S.: the role of wage inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 421-452, June.
  3. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1996. "Work, Welfare, and Family Structure: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Policy Watch: Medicaid and Uninsured Women and Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 199-208, Fall.
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