What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?
This paper uses state panel data to investigate changes in public assistance caseloads. Compared to other research, it uses more extensive data, both across states and over time; it utilizes a particularly rich set of control variables; it investigates the different subcomponents of the AFDC program separately; and it investigates the extent to which changes in caseloads are driven by changes in take-up rates versus in eligibility. The results indicate that an unexplained increase in AFDC-Basic caseloads started in the mid-1980s. This trend appears to be driven by three underlying components: a rise in child-only cases, an increase in take-up rates over the early 1990s during the economic slowdown, and a long-term increase in eligibility which is not well explained by a large set of control variables. In contrast, AFDC-UP caseload changes are relatively well-explained by the model in this paper and are far more responsive to economic factors. Recent state policy changes are correlated with caseload declines, but more than half of their affect appears to precede their implementation, suggesting that other changes in client and caseworker behavior was occurring in states that adopted major policy changes.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1997|
|Publication status:||published as Blank, Rebecca. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads To Grow?," Journal of Human Resources, 2001, v36(1,Winter), 85-118.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Robert Moffitt, 1987. "Historical Growth in Participation in Aid to Families with Dependent Children: Was There a Structural Shift?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 9(3), pages 347-363, April.
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- Steven Garasky, 1990. "Analyzing the Effect of Massachusetts' ET Choices Program on the State's Afdc-Basic Caseload," Evaluation Review, , vol. 14(6), pages 701-710, December.
- Richard P. Barth & Barbara Needell, 1997. "Using Performance Indicators With Child Welfare Policy Makers and Managers," JCPR Working Papers 15, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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- John M. Fitzgerald, 1995. "Local labor markets and local area effects on welfare duration," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 43-67. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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