How Do Changes in Welfare Law Affect Domestic Violence? An Analysis of Connecticut Towns, 1990â€“2000
The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act transformed welfare from an ongoing cash assistance program by restricting participation through time limits and emphasizing rapid entrance into the labor force. Changes in welfare dependency induced by these legal reforms had the potential to impact rates of domestic violence. Using decennial census, welfare caseload, and police report data, this paper investigates the introduction of time limits and work mandates across Connecticut towns. For a variety of reasons, Connecticut proves to be an ideal laboratory from which to obtain evidence. We find that rates of domestic violence fell in Connecticut with the passage of the new welfare law, especially in towns most subject to the lawâ€™s provisions. Using Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report data, we also find evidence that such results hold independent of the reformâ€™s effects on other personal crimes and crimes in general.
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- John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2001.
"The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime,"
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- John Donohue & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," NBER Working Papers 8004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-351.
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