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Does AFDC-up encourage two-parent families?

Author

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  • Anne E. Winkler

    (Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy Administration, Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis)

Abstract

Effective October 1990, the Family Support Act (FSA) of 1988 extended the previously state-optional AFDC-Unemployed Parent (UP) program to all states. This policy was undertaken in an effort to reduce the two-parent penalty of the AFDC program, but little is actually known about UP and its influence on family structure. This study clarifies what is meant by “two-parent family” in the federal legislation and provides new evidence on AFDC's incentive effects. The empirical analysis makes use of the cross-state variation in the generosity of AFDC benefits and the presence (or absence) of AFDC-UP before the FSA of 1988. Specifically, these state-level data are appended to data from the 1987 National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). A real advantage of the NSFH is that it allows for the identification of those truly eligible for the UP program-married and unmarried couples who have an “in-common” dependent child. The major empirical finding is that contrary to the hopes of Congress, a state's provision of a UP program is not found to encourage two-parent families.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne E. Winkler, 1995. "Does AFDC-up encourage two-parent families?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 4-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:14:y:1995:i:1:p:4-24
    DOI: 10.2307/3325430
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/3325430
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hosek, James R, 1980. "Determinants of Family Participation in the AFDC-Unemployed Fathers Program," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 466-470, August.
    2. Glen G. Cain, 1986. "The issues of marital stability and family composition and the income maintenance experiments," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 30, pages 60-105.
    3. G. Acs, "undated". "The impact of AFDC on young women's childbearing decisions," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1011-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    4. Susan Feigenbaum & Lynn Karoly & David Levy, 1988. "When votes are words not deeds: Some evidence from the Nuclear Freeze Referendum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 201-216, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Acs & Sandi Nelson, 2004. "Changes in living arrangements during the late 1990s: Do welfare policies matter?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 273-290.
    2. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Houser, Scott, 1998. "Taxes and Transfers: A New Look at the Marriage Penalty," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 175-217, June.
    3. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
    4. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The Impact of Welfare Reform on Marriage and Divorce," Working Papers WR-110-NICHD/NIA, RAND Corporation.
    5. Kristen Harknett & Lisa Gennetian, 2003. "How an earnings supplement can affect union formation among low-income single mothers," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(3), pages 451-478, August.
    6. Moffitt, Robert A. & Phelan, Brian J. & Winkler, Anne E., 2015. "Welfare Rules, Incentives, and Family Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 9127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. R. A. Moffitt, "undated". "The Effect of Welfare on Marriage and Fertility: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1153-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    8. Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1998. "Will Extending Medicaid to Two-Parent Families Encourage Marriage?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 833-865.
    9. R. A. Moffitt & R. Reville & A. E. Winkler, "undated". "Beyond single mothers: Cohabition, marriage, and the U.S. welfare system," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1068-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    10. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
    11. Jagannathan, Radha, 2004. "Children's living arrangements from a social policy implementation perspective," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 121-141, February.
    12. repec:msl:workng:1008 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. H. W. Hoynes, "undated". "Work, Welfare, and Family Structure: A Review of the Evidence," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1103-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    14. Tracy Roberts & Steven Martin, 2010. "Welfare Exit, Marriage, and Welfare Recidivism: A Reevaluation of Patterns of the 1980s and 1990s," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(2), pages 105-125, April.
    15. S. Dickert-Conlin & S. Houser, "undated". "EITC, AFDC, and the Female Headship Decision," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1192-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    16. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Houser, Scott, 1998. "Taxes and Transfers: A New Look at the Marriage Penalty," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(2), pages 175-217, June.

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