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Regional Welfare Program and Labor Force Participation


  • Huffman, Sonya K.
  • Kilkenny, Maureen


This paper investigates regional variations in household welfare program and labor force participation behavior in the United States. A choice-theoretic model is developed and estimated for each of the major census regions (Northeast, Midwest, South and West) using cross-section data on households, labor markets, and state policies. We show how the observable heterogeneity across U.S. census regions explains different welfare program participation and workforce outcomes. We find little evidence of differences in behavior with respect to welfare program policies across regions. This finding undermines some of the efficiency rationale for the devolution of authority over welfare programs to the states. We also find evidence that welfare program participation still reduces labor supply in some regions. That finding supports the incentive rationale for the imposition of work requirements.

Suggested Citation

  • Huffman, Sonya K. & Kilkenny, Maureen, 2007. "Regional Welfare Program and Labor Force Participation," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12589, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12589

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black & Frank A. Scott, 1998. "How Well Do We Measure Employer-Provided Health Insurance Coverage?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 356-367, July.
    2. Horowitz, Joel L & Manski, Charles F, 1995. "Identification and Robustness with Contaminated and Corrupted Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 281-302, March.
    3. Bollinger, Christopher R., 1996. "Bounding mean regressions when a binary regressor is mismeasured," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 387-399, August.
    4. John V. Pepper, 2000. "The Intergenerational Transmission Of Welfare Receipt: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 472-488, August.
    5. Brent Kreider & Steven C. Hill, 2009. "Partially Identifying Treatment Effects with an Application to Covering the Uninsured," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    6. Molinari, Francesca, 2008. "Partial identification of probability distributions with misclassified data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 81-117, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2012. "Welfare Regimes and the Incentives to Work and Get Educated," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 44(1), pages 125-149, January.
    2. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth & Oyolola, Maharouf, 2009. "Welfare Usage in the U.S.: Does Immigrant Birthplace and Immigration Status Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere & Maharouf Oyolola, 2011. "Do Immigrant Groups Differ in Welfare Usage? Evidence from the U.S," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 39(3), pages 231-247, September.
    4. Gorton, Matthew & Sauer, Johannes & Supatpongkul, Pajaree, 2009. "Investigating Thai Shopping Behavior: Wet-Markets, Supermarkets and the ‘Big Middle’," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50332, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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