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Family Cap Provisions and Changes in Births and Abortions

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  • Ted Joyce
  • Robert Kaestner
  • Sanders Korenman
  • Stanley Henshaw

Abstract

As part of welfare reform efforts in the 1990s, twenty-three states implemented family caps, provisions that deny or reduce cash assistance to welfare recipients who have additional births. We use birth and abortion records from 24 states to estimate effects of family caps on birth and abortion rates. We use age, marital status and completed schooling to identify women at high risk for use of public assistance, and parity (number of previous live births) to identify those most directly affected by the family cap. In family cap states, birth rates fell more and abortion rates rose more among high-risk women with at least one previous live birth compared to similar childless women, consistent with an effect of the family cap. However, this parity-specific pattern of births and abortions also occurred in states that implemented welfare reform with no family cap. Thus, the effects of welfare reform may have differed between mothers and childless women, but there is little evidence of an independent effect of the family cap.

Suggested Citation

  • Ted Joyce & Robert Kaestner & Sanders Korenman & Stanley Henshaw, 2004. "Family Cap Provisions and Changes in Births and Abortions," NBER Working Papers 10214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10214
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    1. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 291-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a �True Natural Experiment�," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a "True Natural Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 1613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Joseph Sabia, 2008. "Blacks and the family cap: pregnancy, abortion, and spillovers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 111-134, January.
    4. Kelaher, Margaret & Dunt, David & Dodson, Sarity, 2007. "Unemployment, contraceptive behaviour and reproductive outcomes among young Australian women," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 95-101, June.
    5. Ann Horvath-Rose & H. Peters & Joseph Sabia, 2008. "Capping Kids: The Family Cap and Nonmarital Childbearing," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 27(2), pages 119-138, April.
    6. Korenman Sanders & Joyce Ted & Kaestner Robert & Walper Jennifer, 2006. "What Did the "Illegitimacy Bonus" Reward?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-36, April.
    7. Laura S. Hussey, 2010. "Welfare Generosity, Abortion Access, and Abortion Rates: A Comparison of State Policy Tools," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(1), pages 266-283.
    8. Ohinata, Asako, 2008. "Fertility Response to Financial Incentives-Evidence from the Working Families Tax Credit in the UK," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 851, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    9. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin, 2009. "The earned income tax credit and fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 537-563, July.
    10. Hal Snarr & Jeffrey Edwards, 2009. "Does income support increase abortions?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(4), pages 575-599, November.
    11. Wendy Tanisha Dyer & Robert W. Fairlie, 2003. "Do Family Caps Reduce Out-of-Wedlock Births? Evidence from Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey and Virginia," Working Papers 877, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    12. Jagannathan, Radha & Camasso, Michael J., 2011. "Message and price components of Family Caps: Experimental evidence from New Jersey," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 292-302, August.
    13. Ho-Po Crystal Wong, 2015. "The Quantity and Quality Adjustment of Births when Having More is Not Subsidized: the Effect of the TANF Family Cap on Fertility and Birth Weight," Working Papers 15-04, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    14. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
    15. repec:mpr:mprres:6548 is not listed on IDEAS

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    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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