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The Impact of Child SSI Enrollment on Household Outcomes: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation

  • Mark Duggan
  • Melissa Schettini Kearney

The federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has become a primary source of cash assistance for low-income families with children in the United States, with 1.04 million children currently receiving SSI benefits and 6 percent of children in a household with some SSI income. In this paper we use data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to investigate the impact that child SSI enrollment has on household outcomes such as poverty, household earnings, and health insurance coverage. The longitudinal nature of the SIPP allows us to control for unobserved differences across households by measuring outcomes in the same household in the months leading up to and immediately following a child's first enrollment in SSI. Our regression analyses demonstrate that for every $100 increase in household SSI income, total household income increases by roughly $72, reflecting some modest offset of other transfer income and conditional household earnings. Our analyses further demonstrate that child SSI enrollment is associated with a statistically significant and persistent reduction in the probability that a child lives in poverty of roughly 11 percentage points. Additional analyses suggest that program enrollment has virtually no impact on health insurance coverage because most new SSI recipients have health insurance from Medicaid or another source at the time of enrollment.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11568.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11568.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Publication status: published as Duggan, Mark G., Melissa Schettini Kearney. "The Impact of Child SSI Enrollment on Household Outcomes." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 26, 4 (Autumn 2007): 861-85.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11568
Note: CH ED HC PE
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  1. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," Working Papers 102-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  2. Elizabeth T. Powers, 2003. "Children’s Health and Maternal Work Activity: Estimates under Alternative Disability Definitions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  3. Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2005. "Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility on Health Insurance," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Heckman, J J & Tobias, Justin & Vytlacil, Ed, 2001. "Four Parameters of Interest in the Evaluation of Social Programs," Staff General Research Papers 12022, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Mary C. Daly & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2002. "The Supplemental Security Income program," Working Paper Series 2002-20, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2005. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kubik, Jeffrey D., 2003. "Fiscal Federalism and Welfare Policy: The Role of States in the Growth of Child SSI," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 61-79, March.
  9. Robert Moffitt, 2002. "Welfare Programs and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 9168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bowen Garrett & Sherry Glied, 2000. "Does state AFDC generosity affect child SSI participation?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 275-295.
  11. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430, May.
  12. Ham, John C. & Shore-Sheppard, Lara, 2005. "The effect of Medicaid expansions for low-income children on Medicaid participation and private insurance coverage: evidence from the SIPP," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 57-83, January.
  13. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
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