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The Effects of Time Limits and Other Policy Changes on Welfare Use, Work, and Income Among Female-Headed Families

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  • Jeffrey Grogger

Abstract

Of all of the welfare reforms that were implemented during the 1990's, time limits may represent the single greatest break from past policy. This paper expands on what is known about this important welfare reform measure by exploiting the predictions from Grogger and Michalopoulos (1999) to estimate the effects of time limits on welfare use, employment, labor supply, earnings, and income among female-headed families. Results based on data from the March Current Population Survey suggest that time limits have had important effects on welfare use and work, accounting for about one-eighth of the decline in welfare use and about 7 percent of the rise in employment since 1993. They have had no significant effect on earnings or income, however. The analysis also shows that the collective effects of other reforms have had important impacts on employment and labor supply. Furthermore, it identifies the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a particularly important contributor to both the recent decrease in welfare use and the recent increase in employment, labor supply, and earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Grogger, 2001. "The Effects of Time Limits and Other Policy Changes on Welfare Use, Work, and Income Among Female-Headed Families," NBER Working Papers 8153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8153
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stacy Dickert & Scott Houser & John Karl Scholz, 1995. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and Transfer Programs: A Study of Labor Market and Program Participation," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 1-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jeffrey Grogger, 2004. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    3. Rebecca M. Blank & David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1999. "Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low-Income Families," JCPR Working Papers 69, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    4. 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.
    5. Robert A. Moffitt & LaDonna Pavetti, 1999. "Time Limits," JCPR Working Papers 91, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(4), pages 1063-1106, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan F. Pingle, 2003. "What if welfare had no work requirements? the age of youngest child exemption and the rise in employment of single mothers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. V. Joseph Hotz & Charles H. Mullin & John Karl Scholz, 2002. "Welfare, Employment, and Income: Evidence on the Effects of Benefit Reductions from California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 380-384, May.
    3. Fitzgerald, John M. & Ribar, David C., 2003. "Transitions in Welfare Participation and Female Headship," IZA Discussion Papers 895, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Adam Looney, 2005. "The effects of welfare reform and related policies on single mothers' welfare use and employment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. John M. Fitzgerald & David Ribar, 2001. "The Impact of Welfare Waivers on Female Headship Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 247, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. Marilyn Lucas & Charles Nicholson, 2003. "Subsidized vehicle acquisition and earned income in the transition from welfare to work," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 483-501, November.
    7. Bruce D. Meyer, 2002. "Labor Supply at the Extensive and Intensive Margins: The EITC, Welfare, and Hours Worked," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 373-379, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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