Welfare Waivers and Non-Marital Childbearing
AbstractIn the late 1980's states began applying to the US Department of Health and Human Services for waivers granting permission to implement state level welfare policies that differed from existing federal policy. An explicit goal of state policymakers was to use policy tools to alter incentives in order to influence unmarried women's fertility decisions. This paper estimates the extent to which welfare waivers may have played a role in lowering the ratio of non-marital births and how this effect differed across age groups and races. The analysis uses aggregate state level data for the years 1984 through 1996 and estimates fixed-effect regression models. Waivers at each level of the process of request, approval, and implementation are found to be consistently negatively correlated with non-marital birth ratios. The family cap waiver is shown to be a useful policy tool for lowering non-marital fertility.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 128.
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2000
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