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Has welfare reform changed teenage behaviors?

  • Robert Kaestner

    (The Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois, Chicago)

  • Sanders Korenman

    (Baruch College|CUNY)

  • June O'Neill

    (Baruch College|CUNY)

Data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979 and 1997 cohorts were used to compare welfare use, fertility, educational attainment, and marriage among teenage women in the years before and immediately following welfare reform. The first objective was to document differences between these cohorts in welfare use and outcomes and behavior correlated with entry into welfare and with future economic and social well-being. The second objective was to investigate the causal role of welfare reform in behavioral change. Significant differences were found between cohorts in welfare use and in outcomes related to welfare use. Furthermore, difference-in-differences estimates suggest that welfare reform has been associated with reduced welfare receipt, reduced fertility, and reduced marriage among young women who, because of a disadvantaged family background, are at high risk of welfare receipt. Finally, in the post-welfare reform era, teenage mothers are less likely to receive welfare and are more likely to live with at least one parent than in the pre-reform era. Establishing more definitively that welfare reform is responsible for these changes will require further investigation. © 2003 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 22 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 225-248

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:22:y:2003:i:2:p:225-248
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  1. V. Joseph Hotz & Seth G. Sanders & Susan Williams McElroy, 1999. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Neeraj Kaushal & Robert Kaestner, 2001. "From Welfare to Work: Has Welfare Reform Worked?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 699-719.
  3. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 291-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeff Grogger, 2000. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," NBER Working Papers 7709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert Kaestner & Neeraj Kaushal, 2005. "Immigrant and native responses to welfare reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 69-92, 07.
  7. Robert F. Schoeni & Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Working Papers 00-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  8. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2002. "Is There an Effect of Incremental Welfare Benefits on Fertility Behavior? A Look at the Family Cap," NBER Working Papers 9093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert A. Moffitt, 1999. "The Effect of Pre-PRWORA Waivers on AFDC Caseloads and Female Earnings, Income, and Labor Force Behavior," JCPR Working Papers 89, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  10. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," NBER Working Papers 7491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dave M. O'Neill & June Ellenoff O'Neill, 1997. "Lessons for Welfare Reform: An Analysis of the AFDC Caseload and Past Welfare-to-Work Programs," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lwr, April.
  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:249-275 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1027-62, December.
  14. 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.
  15. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "The Impact of Social Policy and Economic Activity Throughout the Fertility Decision Tree," NBER Working Papers 9021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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