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Breaking the cycle? The effect of education on welfare receipt among children of welfare recipients

  • Michael B. Coelli

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • David A. Green

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • William P. Warburton

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

We examine the impact of high school graduation on the probability individuals from welfare backgrounds use welfare themselves. Our data consists of administrative educational records for grade 12 students in a Canadian province linked with their own and their parents' welfare records. We address potential endogeneity problems by: 1) controlling for ability using past test scores; 2) using an instrument for graduation based on school principal fixed effects; and 3) using a Heckman- Singer type unobserved heterogeneity estimator. Graduation would reduce welfare receipt of dropoutsby Ý to 3/4. Effects are larger for individuals from troubled family backgrounds and low income neighbourhoods.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0414.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W04/14.

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Length: 69 pp.
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:04/14
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  1. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W00/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "2001 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 361-422, 05.
  4. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  6. Barrett, Garry F., 2000. "The effect of educational attainment on welfare dependence: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 209-232, August.
  7. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
  8. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  9. Aakvik, Arild & Heckman, James J. & Vytlacil, Edward J., 2005. "Estimating treatment effects for discrete outcomes when responses to treatment vary: an application to Norwegian vocational rehabilitation programs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 15-51.
  10. Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "The Long-Run Consequences Of Living In A Poor Neighborhood," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1533-1575, November.
  11. Gottschalk, Peter, 1996. "Is the correlation in welfare participation across generations spurious?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-25, December.
  12. An, Chong-Bum & Haveman, Robert & Wolfe, Barbara, 1993. "Teen Out-of-Wedlock Births and Welfare Receipt: The Role of Childhood Events and Economic Circumstances," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 195-208, May.
  13. Arild Aakvik & James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Treatment Effects for Discrete Outcomes when Responses to Treatment Vary Among Observationally Identical Persons: An Application to Norwegian ..," NBER Technical Working Papers 0262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Antel, John J, 1992. "The Intergenerational Transfer of Welfare Dependency: Some Statistical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 467-73, August.
  15. Beaulieu, Nicolas & Duclos, Jean-Yves & Fortin, Bernard & Rouleau, Manon, 2001. "An Econometric Analysis of Intergenerational Reliance on Social Assistance," Cahiers de recherche 0116, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  16. Inhoe Ku & Robert Plotnick, 2003. "Do children from welfare families obtain less education?," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 151-170, February.
  17. P. B. Levine & D. J. Zimmerman, . "The intergenerational correlation in AFDC participation: Welfare trap or poverty trap?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1100-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  18. James J. Heckman & Justin L. Tobias & Edward Vytlacil, 2000. "Simple Estimators for Treatment Parameters in a Latent Variable Framework with an Application to Estimating the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 7950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. James J. Heckman, 1981. "Heterogeneity and State Dependence," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 91-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Gottschalk, Peter, 1990. "AFDC Participation across Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 367-71, May.
  21. Nicolas Beaulieu & Jean-Yves Duclos & Bernard Fortin & Manon Rouleau, 2005. "Intergenerational reliance on social assistance: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 539-562, 09.
  22. I. Ku & R. D. Plotnick, . "Do Children from Welfare Families Obtain Less Education?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1217-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  23. Donald, Stephen G & Green, David A & Paarsch, Harry J, 2000. "Differences in Wage Distributions between Canada and the United States: An Application of a Flexible Estimator of Distribution Functions in the Presence of Covariates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 609-33, October.
  24. Garry F. Barrett & Michael I. Cragg, 1998. "An Untold Story: The Characteristics of Welfare Use in British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 165-188, February.
  25. Scott Boggess, 1998. "Family structure, economic status, and educational attainment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 205-222.
  26. O'Neill, June A & Bassi, Laurie J & Wolf, Douglas A, 1987. "The Duration of Welfare Spells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 241-48, May.
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