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Intergenerational transmission of welfare dependency: The effects of length of exposure

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  • Oscar A. Mitnik

    () (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

Abstract

It is well documented that a positive correlation exists between receiving welfare as a child and depending on welfare as an adult. However, previous studies have not been able to explore many aspects of this relationship. This paper uses a unique administrative dataset for California, which follows welfare recipients since their teenage years until early adulthood, to study the causal effects of different lengths of welfare exposure as a child (conditional on welfare receipt) on future welfare dependency as a young adult. The econometric analyses in this paper use a recently developed method from the program evaluation literature, based on the estimation of a generalized propensity score (GPS). As in the binary-treatment case the GPS permits removing the biases associated with differences in the observed characteristics of individuals. In addition, for some analyses, family-level unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for by relying on pairs of siblings exposed to different lengths of exposure. The results show that there is no causal effect of length of exposure on future welfare dependency, nor on teenage childbearing. Conditional on teenage childbearing, there are no effects of length of exposure on adult welfare dependency either, but this dependency is almost three times larger for teenage mothers than for non-mothers. All results hold when controlling for unobserved heterogeneity. The results indicate that policies like time-limits are not likely to reduce the intergenerational correlation of welfare dependency.

Suggested Citation

  • Oscar A. Mitnik, 2007. "Intergenerational transmission of welfare dependency: The effects of length of exposure," Working Papers 0715, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:0715
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    File URL: http://moya.bus.miami.edu/~omitnik/PDF_Documents/Intergenerational_Welfare.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Flores, Carlos A. & Mitnik, Oscar A., 2009. "Evaluating Nonexperimental Estimators for Multiple Treatments: Evidence from Experimental Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4451, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    3. Espen Bratberg & Øivind Anti Nilsen & Kjell Vaage, 2012. "Is Recipiency of Disability Pension Hereditary?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3796, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. FLORES-LAGUNES Alfonso & CHOE Chung & LEE Sang-Jun, 2011. "Do Dropouts Benefit from Training Programs? Korean Evidence Employing Methods for Continuous Treatments," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-34, LISER.
    5. Michela Bia & Alessandra Mattei, 2012. "Assessing the effect of the amount of financial aids to Piedmont firms using the generalized propensity score," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 21(4), pages 485-516, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare Dependency; Continuous Treatments;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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