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The Happiness of Single Mothers after Welfare Reform

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  • Ifcher John

    () (Santa Clara University)

Abstract

U.S. welfare and tax policies targeting single mothers were transformed over a decade ago. What was the impact on single mothers’ happiness? Using data from the General Social Survey, difference in difference estimators are calculated. The results appear to indicate that the package of welfare and tax policy changes increased happiness. The results are largely consistent across three comparison groups and robust to various specification checks. This research nicely complements the literature by examining the impact of the welfare and tax policy changes on a novel outcome measure, self-reported happiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Ifcher John, 2011. "The Happiness of Single Mothers after Welfare Reform," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:60
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Note: For best results & the figures should be printed on a non-Postscript printer. Hoynes & H., "undated". "The Employment, Earnings, and Income of Less-Skilled Workers over the Business Cycle," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1199-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susan Harkness, 2016. "The Effect of Employment on the Mental Health of Lone Mothers in the UK Before and After New Labour’s Welfare Reforms," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 763-791, September.
    2. John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee, 2014. "The Happiness of Single Mothers: Evidence from the General Social Survey," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1219-1238, October.
    3. Dr Richard Dorsett, 2014. "Human well-being and in-work benefits: a randomized controlled trial," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 424, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    4. Chris Herbst, 2013. "Welfare reform and the subjective well-being of single mothers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 203-238, January.
    5. Herbst, Chris M., 2014. "Are Parental Welfare Work Requirements Good for Disadvantaged Children? Evidence from Age-of-Youngest-Child Exemptions," IZA Discussion Papers 8485, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Kelsey J. O'Connor & Carol Graham, 2018. "Longer, More Optimistic, Lives: Historic Optimism and Life Expectancy in the United States," Working Papers 2018-026, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M. & Ifcher, John & Zarghamee, Homa, 2013. "The Earned Income Tax Credit, Health, and Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 7261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M. & Ifcher, John & Zarghamee, Homa, 2016. "The earned income tax credit, mental health, and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 18-38.

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