Children's welfare exposure and subsequent development
We examine the extent to which children are exposed to the welfare system through their mother's receipt of benefits and its impact on several developmental outcomes. Using data from the matched mother-child file from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), we find that children's welfare exposure is substantial. By age 10, over one-third of all children will have lived in a welfare household; black, non-Hispanic children face a much higher rate of exposure. Simple correlations suggest a strong negative relationship between maternal welfare receipt and children's outcomes. In this paper, we implement three alternative strategies (instrumental variables, sibling difference, and child fixed-effects models) designed to identify whether this correlation can be attributed to the mother's welfare receipt directly or to other characteristics of mothers who receive welfare, regardless of whether those characteristics are observable evidence of any causal link between maternal welfare receipt and children's developmental outcomes.
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in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 8, pages 1-44
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Janet Currie, 1993. "Welfare and the Well-Being of Children: The Relative Effectiveness of Cash and In-Kind Transfers," NBER Working Papers 4539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- An, Chong-Bum & Haveman, Robert & Wolfe, Barbara, 1993. "Teen Out-of-Wedlock Births and Welfare Receipt: The Role of Childhood Events and Economic Circumstances," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 195-208, May.
- Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Cash welfare as a consumption smoothing mechanism for divorced mothers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 157-182, February.
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