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Drug Use and AFDC Participation: Is There a Connection?

  • Robert Kaestner

Drug use and welfare are two serious social problems that have received widespread public attention. Recently, it has been suggested that illicit drug use is a major cause of welfare, although there is only anecdotal evidence to support such a claim. This paper provides the first systematic analysis of the issue by examining the relationship between illicit drug use and welfare participation among a nationally representative sample of young adults. The results indicate that past year drug use, predominantly marijuana use, is positively related to future welfare participation for both non-black and black women. The magnitude of the drug effect, however, is modest: if drug use among welfare participants was reduced to the levels of non-participants, welfare participation would decline by approximately one percent.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5555.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5555.

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Date of creation: Apr 1996
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Publication status: published as Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 17, no. 3 (Summer 1998): 495-520
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5555
Note: HE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Kaestner, Robert, 1991. "The Effect of Illicit Drug Use on the Wages of Young Adults," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 381-412, October.
  2. Charles A. Register & Donald R. Williams, 1992. "Labor Market Effects of Marijuana and Cocaine Use among Young Men," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 435-448, April.
  3. Robert Kaestner, 1994. "The Effect of Illicit Drug Use on the Labor Supply of Young Adults," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 126-155.
  4. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
  5. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  6. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
  7. Barbara Mensch & Denise Kandel, 1992. "Drug use as a risk factor for premarital teen pregnancy and abortion in a National Sample of Young White Women," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 409-429, August.
  8. Robert Kaestner, 1994. "New Estimates of the Effect of Marijuana and Cocaine Use on Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 454-470, April.
  9. Robert Kaestner, 1998. "Drug Use, Culture, and Welfare Incentives: Correlates of Family Structure and Out-of-Wedlock Birth," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 395-416, Fall.
  10. Robert Kaestner, 1995. "The Effects of Cocaine and Marijuana Use on Marriage and Marital Stability," NBER Working Papers 5038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Andrew M. Gill & Robert J. Michaels, 1992. "Does drug use lower wages?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 419-434, April.
  13. Andrew M. Gill & Robert J. Michaels, 1992. "Does Drug Use Lower Wages?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 419-434, April.
  14. Gail Mitchell Hoyt & Frank J. Chaloupka, 1994. "Effect Of Survey Conditions On Self-Reported Substance Use," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 109-121, 07.
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