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Welfare generosity, pregnancies and abortions among unmarried AFDC recipients

Author

Listed:
  • Susan L. Averett

    () (Lafayette College, Department of Economics and Business, Easton, PA 18042-1776, USA)

  • Daniel I. Rees

    () (University of Colorado-Denver, Department of Economics, CB 181, P.O.Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA)

  • Laura M. Argys

    () (University of Colorado-Denver, Department of Economics, CB 181, P.O.Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA)

Abstract

Even before the 1996 overhaul of the U.S. welfare system, a number of states had ended the practice of paying extra benefits to families who have additional children while receiving welfare. Proponents believe that this reform can reduce births to recipients, however many worry that it may encourage women to obtain abortions. Using a sample of unmarried AFDC recipients from the NLSY, we estimate a bivariate probit model of pregnancy and, conditional on becoming pregnant, the probability of abortion. Our results lend some support for the proposition that reducing incremental AFDC benefits will decrease pregnancies without increasing abortions.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan L. Averett & Daniel I. Rees & Laura M. Argys, 2000. "Welfare generosity, pregnancies and abortions among unmarried AFDC recipients," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(4), pages 569-594.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:13:y:2000:i:4:p:569-594
    Note: Received: 16 April 1998/Accepted: 11 March 1999
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Phillip B. Levine, 2001. "The Sexual Activity and Birth-Control Use of American Teenagers," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 167-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ann Horvath-Rose & H. Peters & Joseph Sabia, 2008. "Capping Kids: The Family Cap and Nonmarital Childbearing," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 27(2), pages 119-138, April.
    4. Ann E. Horvath-Rose & H. Elizabeth Peters, 2000. "Welfare Waivers and Non-Marital Childbearing," JCPR Working Papers 128, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare; abortion; fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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