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The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review

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  • Jeffrey Grogger
  • Lynn Karoly

Abstract

Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work, either via wage subsidies available only to workers or via work requirements in more traditional welfare programs. Although the effects of such programs on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. We review a small number of studies that provide such information here. Our discussion of marriage is couched in terms of a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that we observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. The theoretical framework in which we couch our review of results on children is likewise consistent with the observed variation between programs and among children of different ages.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Grogger & Lynn Karoly, 2007. "The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review," NBER Working Papers 13485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13485
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. T. Paul Schultz, 1994. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 637-669.
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    3. Robert Moffitt, 1994. "Welfare Effects on Female Headship with Area Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 621-636.
    4. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "The effect of the U.S. welfare system on marital status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 101-124, February.
    5. V. Joseph Hotz, 2003. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 141-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Marco Francesconi & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2007. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of "In-Work" Benefit Reform for British Lone Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
    7. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
    8. Marco Francesconi & Helmut Rainer & Wilbert vanderKlaauw, 2009. "The Effects of In-Work Benefit Reform in Britain on Couples: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 66-100, February.
    9. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
    10. Elizabeth Clark-Kauffman & Greg J. Duncan & Pamela Morris, 2003. "How Welfare Policies Affect Child and Adolescent Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 299-303, May.
    11. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-467, June.
    12. Kristen Harknett & Lisa Gennetian, 2003. "How an earnings supplement can affect union formation among low-income single mothers," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(3), pages 451-478, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Female Labor Supply, Human Capital, and Welfare Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1705-1753, September.
    2. Marco Francesconi & Helmut Rainer & Wilbert vanderKlaauw, 2009. "The Effects of In-Work Benefit Reform in Britain on Couples: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 66-100, February.
    3. Marco Francesconi & Helmut Rainer & Wilbert Klaauw, 2015. "Unintended consequences of welfare reform for children with single parents: a theoretical analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 709-733, September.
    4. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & Jonathan Shaw, 2011. "The long-term effects of in-work benefits in a life-cycle model for policy evaluation," CeMMAP working papers CWP07/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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