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What if welfare had no work requirements? the age of youngest child exemption and the rise in employment of single mothers

  • Jonathan F. Pingle

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 required states to increase welfare recipient employment and participation in welfare-to-work programs. These work requirements are sometimes credited for bringing about large employment increases among single mothers. However, this paper finds that employment among single mothers who were exempted from work requirements because they had young children rose as much as that of other single mothers. The results imply that the employment gains among single mothers in the late 1990s were due to economic growth and other policy changes rather than to the work requirements.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2003-57.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-57
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  1. Robert F. Schoeni & Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 7627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
  3. David C Ribar & John M Fitgerald, 2003. "The Impact of Welfare Waivers on Female Headship Decisions," Working Papers 03-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Jeff Grogger & Stephen G. Bronars, 2001. "The Effect of Welfare Payments on the Marriage and Fertility Behavior of Unwed Mothers: Results from a Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 529-545, June.
  5. Jacob A. Klerman & Steven J. Haider, 2001. "A Stock-Flow Analysis of the Welfare Caseload: Insights from California Economic Conditions," Working Papers 01-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  6. Blank, Rebecca M. & Card, David & Robins, Philip K., 1999. "Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low-Income Families," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2f15x7sg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Thomas M. Fraker & Lucia A. Nixon & Jonathan E. Jacobson & Anne R. Gordon & Thomas J. Martin, 1998. "Iowa's Family Investment Program Two-Year Impacts," Mathematica Policy Research Reports a417759948f94d9cb2429ca08, Mathematica Policy Research.
  8. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers' Labor Supply after Childbirth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 772-799, April.
  9. James P. Ziliak & David N. Figlio & Elizabeth E. Davis & Laura S. Connolly, 2000. "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or the Economy?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 570-586.
  10. Jeff Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 1999. "Welfare Dynamics Under Time Limits," NBER Working Papers 7353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jinyong Hahn & Petra Todd & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 1999. "Evaluating the Effect of an Antidiscrimination Law Using a Regression-Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 7131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rebecca M. Blank, 1999. "What Goes Up Must Come Down? Explaining Recent Changes in Public Assistance Caseloads," JCPR Working Papers 78, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  13. Michael P. Keane & Robert A. Moffitt, 1995. "A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply," Working Papers 557, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. David N. Figlio & James P. Ziliak, 1999. "Welfare Reform, the Business Cycle, and the Decline in AFDC Caseloads," JCPR Working Papers 77, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  15. Robert Kaestner & Neeraj Kaushal, 2005. "Immigrant and native responses to welfare reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 69-92, 07.
  16. 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.
  17. J. P. Ziliak & D. N. Figlio & E. E. Davis & L. S. Connolly, . "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or Economic Growth?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1151-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  18. Jeffrey Grogger, 2001. "The Effects of Time Limits and Other Policy Changes on Welfare Use, Work, and Income Among Female-Headed Families," NBER Working Papers 8153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
  20. David C. Ribar, 2005. "Transitions from Welfare and the Employment Prospects of Low-Skill Workers," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 514-533, January.
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