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The Working Poor and Welfare Recipiency

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Author Info

  • Marlene Kim

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

  • Thanos Mergoupis

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

Abstract

Current welfare debates assume that the poor are taking unfair advantage of the largess of the government by shunning work for welfare benefits. Yet many studies have shown that many of those who qualify for welfare benefits fail to receive assistance. This study adds to this growing body of research by examining the extent to which the working poor who qualify for AFDC, Food Stamps, and Medicaid receive these benefits. We find that a substantial number of the working poor do not receive the benefits for which they qualify. In addition, those who qualify for welfare benefits are not out of the ordinary: most are in married couple families, are in their prime working years, have at least high school educations, and work many hours. The jobs they hold, which tend to be in low-paid service occupations and industries, seem to deposit them into their precarious position of belonging to the working poor.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mac/papers/9810/9810006.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 9810006.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 29 Oct 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9810006

Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 45; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Gueron, Judith M, 1990. "Work and Welfare: Lessons on Employment Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 79-98, Winter.
  2. 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.
  3. Rebecca M. Blank, 1991. "Why Were Poverty Rates So High in the 1980s?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_57, Levy Economics Institute.
  4. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-12 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Karl Widerquist, 1998. "Reciprocity and the Guaranteed Income," Macroeconomics 9808009, EconWPA.
  3. Pudney, Stephen & Monica Hernandez & Ruth Hancock, 2003. "The Welfare Cost of Means-Testing: Pensioner Participation in Income Support," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 171, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Ann Dryden Witte & Magaly Queralt & Tasneem Chipty & Harriet Griesinger, 1998. "Unintended Consequences? Welfare Reform and the Working Poor," NBER Working Papers 6798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2004-04 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Stephen Pudney & Ruth Hancock & Holly Sutherland, 2006. "Simulating the Reform of Means-tested Benefits with Endogenous Take-up and Claim Costs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(2), pages 135-166, 04.
  7. Joël Hellier, 2012. "Working poor trajectories," Working Papers 280, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  8. repec:ese:iserwp:2004-15 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Riphahn, Regina T., 2000. "Rational Poverty or Poor Rationality? The Take-up of Social Assistance Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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