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The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review

  • Jeffrey Grogger
  • LynnA. Karoly

Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work. Although the effects of such programmes on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. We review a few studies that provide such information here. We sketch a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that we observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. Our theoretical framework likewise explains the observed variation in the effects of such programmes on children. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 119 (2009)
Issue (Month): 535 (02)
Pages: F15-F37

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:535:p:f15-f37
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  1. Marianne Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2002. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Elizabeth Clark-Kauffman & Greg J. Duncan & Pamela Morris, 2003. "How Welfare Policies Affect Child and Adolescent Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 299-303, May.
  3. Francesconi, Marco & Rainer, Helmut & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2007. "The Effects of In-Work Benefit Reform in Britain on Couples: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2980, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Introduction to "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States"," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. V. Joseph Hotz, 2003. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 141-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "The effect of the U.S. welfare system on marital status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 101-124, February.
  9. Schultz, T.P., 1993. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Papers 703, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
  11. Marco Francesconi & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2007. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of "In-Work" Benefit Reform for British Lone Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  12. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
  13. Kristen Harknett & Lisa Gennetian, 2003. "How an earnings supplement can affect union formation among low-income single mothers," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 451-478, August.
  14. Williamson Hoyne, Hilary, 1997. "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 89-117, August.
  15. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, December.
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