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Taking Chances: The Effect of Growing Up on Welfare on the Risky Behavior of Young People

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  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Ryan, Chris

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Sartbayeva, Anastasia

    () (Australian National University)

Abstract

We analyze the effect of growing up on welfare on young people's involvement in a variety of social and health risks. Young people in welfare families are much more likely to take both social and health risks. Much of the apparent link between family welfare history and risk taking disappears, however, once we account for family structure and mothers' decisions regarding their own risk taking and investment in their children. Interestingly, we find no significant effect of socio-economic status per se. Overall, we find no evidence that growing up on welfare causes young people to engage in risky behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Ryan, Chris & Sartbayeva, Anastasia, 2009. "Taking Chances: The Effect of Growing Up on Welfare on the Risky Behavior of Young People," IZA Discussion Papers 4095, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4095
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Trinh Le & Duncan McVicar & Rong Zhang, 2015. "Is there an educational penalty for being suspended from school?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 376-395, August.
    2. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Trinh Le & Duncan McVicar & Rong Zhang, 2015. "‘High’-School: The Relationship between Early Marijuana Use and Educational Outcomes," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 91(293), pages 247-266, June.
    3. Alison L. Booth & Pamela Katic, 2013. "Cognitive Skills, Gender and Risk Preferences," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(284), pages 19-30, March.
    4. Johnston, David W. & Schurer, Stefanie & Shields, Michael A., 2013. "Exploring the intergenerational persistence of mental health: Evidence from three generations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1077-1089.
    5. Trinh Le, 2013. "Does Participation in Extracurricular Activities Reduce Engagement in Risky Behaviours?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n35, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    youths; socio-economic disadvantage; welfare; risky behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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