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A Decade Of Declining Welfare Participation: Sorting Out The Causes

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  • PHILIP K. ROBINS

Abstract

Since the late 1970s, the proportion of all single-parent families receiving benefits from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program has been declining. This is reversing an earlier two-decade trend. This paper uses data from the Current Population Survey so as to investigate the reasons for the decline. The analysis reveals that for the years prior to 1981, the decline has resulted both from an erosion in real AFDC guarantee levels-caused by high rates of inflation-and from changes in demographic conditions. For the years subsequent to 1981, the decline has resulted from an increase in effective AFDC benefit reduction rates caused by the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981. Somewhat offsetting the participation rate decline were falling real child support collections and a rising unemployment rate. Copyright 1990 Western Economic Association International.

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  • Philip K. Robins, 1990. "A Decade Of Declining Welfare Participation: Sorting Out The Causes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 8(1), pages 110-123, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:8:y:1990:i:1:p:110-123
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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    2. Thomas Fraker & Robert Moffitt & Douglas Wolf, 1985. "Effective Tax Rates and Guarantees in the AFDC Program, 1967-1982," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 251-263.
    3. Douglas Wolf & David Greenberg, 1986. "The Dynamics of Welfare Fraud: An Econometric Duration Model in Discrete Time," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 437-455.
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