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Effects Of Welfare Reform On Women'S Voting Participation

Author

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  • Hope Corman
  • Dhaval Dave
  • Nancy E. Reichman

Abstract

Voting is an important form of civic participation in democratic societies but a fundamental right that many citizens do not exercise. This study investigates the effects of welfare reform in the U.S. in the 1990s on voting of low income women. Using the November Current Population Surveys with the added Voting and Registration Supplement for the years 1990 through 2004 and exploiting changes in welfare policy across states and over time, we estimate the causal effects of welfare reform on women's voting registration and voting participation during the period during which welfare reform unfolded. We find robust evidence that welfare reform increased the likelihood of voting by about 4 percentage points, which translates to about a 10% increase relative to the baseline mean. The effects were largely confined to Presidential elections, were stronger in Democratic than Republican states, were stronger in states with stronger work incentive policies, and appeared to operate through employment, education, and income.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2017. "Effects Of Welfare Reform On Women'S Voting Participation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1430-1451, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1430-1451
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecin.12433
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dave, Dhaval M. & Reichman, Nancy E. & Corman, Hope & Das, Dhiman, 2011. "Effects of welfare reform on vocational education and training," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1399-1415.
    2. Robert Kaestner & Elizabeth Tarlov, 2006. "Changes in the welfare caseload and the health of low-educated mothers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 623-643.
    3. Lisa Schur, 2003. "Employment and the Creation of an Active Citizenry," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(4), pages 751-771, December.
    4. Corman, Hope & Dave, Dhaval M. & Reichman, Nancy E., 2014. "Effects of welfare reform on women's crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-14.
    5. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    6. Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap and the Decline in Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961.
    7. Hope Corman & Dhaval M. Dave & Dhiman Das & Nancy E. Reichman, 2013. "Effects Of Welfare Reform On Illicit Drug Use Of Adult Women," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 653-674, January.
    8. Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Papers 00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    9. Dhaval Dave & Hope Corman & Nancy Reichman, 2012. "Effects of Welfare Reform on Education Acquisition of Adult Women," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 251-282, June.
    10. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
    11. Panu Pelkonen, 2012. "Length of compulsory education and voter turnout—evidence from a staged reform," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 51-75, January.
    12. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
    13. Knack, Stephen, 1998. "Drivers Wanted: Motor Voter and the Election of 1996," MPRA Paper 24983, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 1999.
    14. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    15. repec:cup:apsrev:v:93:y:1999:i:02:p:363-380_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
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    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:193-209 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:poleco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:192-213 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dave, Dhaval M. & Corman, Hope & Kalil, Ariel & Schwartz-Soicher, Ofira & Reichman, Nancy E., 2019. "Effects of Maternal Work Incentives on Adolescent Social Behaviors," IZA Discussion Papers 12208, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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