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Duration of Public Assistance Receipt: Is Welfare a Trap?

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  • G. Sandefur
  • S. Cook
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    Abstract

    This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to answer two questions about the effects of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program: (1) Does the length of time that one receives AFDC affect the likelihood of permanently leaving AFDC? (2) What personal and family characteristics are associated with the long-term receipt of AFDC? The answer to the first question is that the likelihood of permanently leaving AFDC decreases with the length of time that individuals receive benefits, after adjustments for other measured and unmeasured attributes of individuals and their families. The answer to the second question is that not having a high school diploma, never having married, having more than two children, and having little work experience are associated with long-term receipt. Many of the recipients who will reach the five-year limit imposed by the new federal legislation are in situations that make it difficult for them to support themselves and their families without public assistance.

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    File URL: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp112997.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 1129-97.

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    Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1129-97

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1996. "Local Labor Markets and Welfare Spells: Do Demand Conditions Matter?," NBER Working Papers 5643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. G. Sandefur & T. Wells, . "Trends in AFDC Participation Rates: The Implications for Welfare Reform," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1116-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. 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.
    4. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
    5. O'Neill, June A & Bassi, Laurie J & Wolf, Douglas A, 1987. "The Duration of Welfare Spells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 241-48, May.
    6. Neil Bennett & David Bloom & Cynthia Miller, 1995. "The influence of nonmarital childbearing on the formation of first marriages," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 47-62, February.
    7. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hilary W. Hoynes & Kenneth Y. Chay & Dean Hyslop, 2004. "True State Dependence In Monthly Welfare Participation:A Nonexperimental Analysis," Working Papers 533, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    2. Mairead Reidy & Lucy Mackey-Bilaver & Robert M. Goerge & Yizu Yeh & Bong Joo Lee, 1998. "The Dynamics of AFDC, Medicaid, and Food Stamps: A Preliminary Report," JCPR Working Papers 48, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    3. Jensen, Helen H. & Keng, S-H & Garasky, Steven, 2000. "Location and the Low Income Experience: Analyses of Program Dynamics in the Iowa Family Investment Program," Staff General Research Papers 10531, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Luis Ayala & Magdalena Rodríguez, 2010. "Explaining welfare recidivism: what role do unemployment and initial spells have?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 373-392, January.
    5. Ayala, Luis & Rodriguez, Magdalena, 2007. "Barriers to employment and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Spain," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 237-257.
    6. Ayala, Luis & Rodriguez, Magdalena, 2006. "The latin model of welfare: Do `insertion contracts' reduce long-term dependence?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 799-822, December.

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