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The Wisconsin Child Support Assurance System: Estimated Effects on Poverty, Labor Supply, Caseloads, and Costs


  • Irwin Garfinkel
  • Philip K. Robins
  • Pat Wong
  • Daniel R. Meyer


The economic impact of a child support assurance system (CSAS) is simulated with microdata on custodial families in Wisconsin. The CSAS includes a uniform child support standard, automatic wage withholding, a minimum child support benefit, and wage subsidy for eligible families. The simulation incorporates a model of the labor supply decision representing the custodial parent's choice of whether to participate in CSAS or in the current AFDC system. The results suggest that CSAS can significantly reduce poverty as well as welfare caseloads. If child support collections increase by one-half of the difference between estimated ability to pay child support and current collections, CSAS will be less costly than the current system.

Suggested Citation

  • Irwin Garfinkel & Philip K. Robins & Pat Wong & Daniel R. Meyer, 1990. "The Wisconsin Child Support Assurance System: Estimated Effects on Poverty, Labor Supply, Caseloads, and Costs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:25:y:1990:i:1:p:1-31

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    Cited by:

    1. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Child Support and Partnership Dissolution: Evidence from the UK," Studies in Economics 0408, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    2. Rebecca M. Blank & David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1999. "Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low- Income Families," HEW 9902002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Child support liability and partnership dissolution," IFS Working Papers W04/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Ian Walker & Gillian Paull & Yu Zhu, 2000. "Child support reform: some analysis of the 1999 White Paper," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 105-140, March.
    5. Maureen A. Pirog & Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, 2006. "Child support enforcement: Programs and policies, impacts and questions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 943-990.
    6. Irwin Garfinkel & Theresa Heintze & Chien-Chung Huang, 2001. "Child Support Enforcement: Incentives and Well-Being," JCPR Working Papers 215, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    7. R. Y. Kim & I. Garfinkel & D. R. Meyer, "undated". "Interaction effects of a child tax credit, national health insurance, and assured child support," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1047-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    8. C. Huang & I. Garfinkel & J. Waldfogel, "undated". "Child Support and Welfare Caseloads," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1218-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    9. D. R. Meyer & R. Y. Kim, "undated". "Incorporating labor supply responses into the estimated effects of an assured child support benefit," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1033-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    10. Daniel Meyer, 1993. "Child support and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Wisconsin," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(1), pages 45-62, February.
    11. Marieka M. Klawitter & Irwin Garfinkel, 1992. "Child Support, Routine Income Withholding, And Post-Divorce Income," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 10(1), pages 52-64, January.

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