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Time Limits and Welfare Use

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  • Jeff Grogger

Abstract

Time limits are a central component of recent welfare reforms and represent a substantial departure from previous policy. However, several recent studies suggest that they have had no effect on welfare use. In this paper I attempt to reconcile those findings with results from Grogger and Michalopoulos, who find time limits to have substantial effects that vary by the age of the youngest child in the family. Using data from the Current Population Survey, I obtain results similar to those of previous analysts when I estimate models that constrain the effects of time limits to be independent of age. When I allow for age dependence and employ controls for time-varying state-level unobservables that may be correlated with the timing of welfare reform, however, I find that time limits have negative effects on welfare use and that those effects are stronger, the younger the youngest child in the family. The estimates suggest that time limits may account for 16 to 18 percent of the recent decline in welfare use among female-headed families.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff Grogger, 2000. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," NBER Working Papers 7709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7709
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 2003. "Welfare Dynamics under Time Limits," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 530-554, June.
    2. Robert A. Moffitt & LaDonna Pavetti, 1999. "Time Limits," JCPR Working Papers 91, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    3. J. P. Ziliak & D. N. Figlio & E. E. Davis & L. S. Connolly, "undated". "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or Economic Growth?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1151-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    4. Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Papers 00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    5. Rebecca M. Blank, 2001. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 85-118.
    6. James P. Ziliak & David N. Figlio & Elizabeth E. Davis & Laura S. Connolly, 2000. "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or the Economy?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 570-586.
    7. Rebecca M. Blank, 1999. "What Goes Up Must Come Down? Explaining Recent Changes in Public Assistance Caseloads," JCPR Working Papers 78, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Robert A. Moffitt, 1999. "The Effect of Pre-PRWORA Waivers on AFDC Caseloads and Female Earnings, Income, and Labor Force Behavior," JCPR Working Papers 89, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    9. repec:mes:challe:v:40:y:1997:i:6:p:6-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. David N. Figlio & James P. Ziliak, 1999. "Welfare Reform, the Business Cycle, and the Decline in AFDC Caseloads," JCPR Working Papers 77, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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