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Welfare recipiency and welfare recidivism: An analysis of the NLSY data

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  • J. Cao
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes welfare recipiency and recidivism of first-time AFDC recipients over the 168-month (14-year) period from January 1978 to December 1991 using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) database. Duration of a single AFDC spell is short, but repeated welfare dependency is common. On average, 57 percent of former AFDC recipients return to the rolls after an exit and most of them come back within two years. Having a newborn is the most important direct cause for going on the AFDC rolls and for recidivism. The results from bivariate duration models suggest a negative correlation due to unobserved heterogeneity between the previous welfare recipiency and recidivism. An inverted U-shaped hazard function is found for both the first and second spells on AFDC and the intervening off-AFDC spell. Age, years of education or AFQT score, martial status, ethnic origin, and region are the significant correlates with a recipient's initial welfare dependency and recidivism. However, few variables have significant effects on the duration of the second AFDC spell and off-AFDC spell at the conventional statistical level.

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    File URL: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp108196.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1081-96.

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    Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1081-96

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    1. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
    2. James J. Heckman & Christopher R. Taber, 1994. "Econometric Mixture Models and More General Models for Unobservables in Duration Analysis," NBER Technical Working Papers 0157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bruce D. Meyer, 1991. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Blank, Rebecca M & Ruggles, Patricia, 1994. "Short-Term Recidivism among Public-Assistance Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 49-53, May.
    5. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1993. "When Do Women Use AFDC & Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility vs. Participation," NBER Working Papers 4429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
    7. Heckman, James J. & Singer, Burton, 1984. "Econometric duration analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 63-132.
    8. Han, Aaron & Hausman, Jerry A, 1990. "Flexible Parametric Estimation of Duration and Competing Risk Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, January-M.
    9. Bergstrom, R & Edin, P-A, 1992. "Time Aggregation and the Distributional Shape of Unemployment Duration," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(1), pages 5-30, Jan.-Marc.
    10. P. D. Brandon, . "Vulnerability to future dependence among former AFDC mothers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1055-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    11. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
    12. Swaim, Paul & Podgursky, Michael, 1992. "The Distributional Shape of Unemployment Duration: A Reconsideration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 712-17, November.
    13. Honore, Bo E, 1993. "Identification Results for Duration Models with Multiple Spells," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 241-46, January.
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