Welfare Reform and Changes in the Economic Well-Being of Children
Since the implementation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in late-1996, welfare rolls have declined by more than half. This paper explores whether improvements in the economic well-being of children have accompanied this dramatic reduction in welfare participation. Further, we examine the degree to which the success or failure of welfare reform has been shared equally among families of varying educational background. We analyze data from the March Current Population Surveys over the years 1988 through 2001. Specifically, we link data for families with children who are interviewed in adjacent years and determine whether their economic circumstances either improved or deteriorated. We use two alternative approaches to address this general issue: a variety of regression models and a difference-in-differences methodology. These approaches provide consistent answers. In a bivariate framework TANF is associated with higher incomes; but this association becomes insignificant in the presence of business cycle controls. We also determine that children who were poor at an initial time period benefit differently, depending on their parents' educational attainment level. Poor children with parents who do not have a high school degree are significantly worse off in the TANF era, relative to the era prior to welfare reform, than are their more educated counterparts.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Bennett, Neil G., Hsien-Hen Lu, and Younghwan Song. "Welfare Reform and Changes in the Economic Well-Being of Children." Population Research and Policy Review 23, 5-6 (Special Issue October-December 2004): 671-99.|
|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
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dan Lichter & Leif Jensen, 2000. "Rural America in Transition: Poverty and Welfare at the Turn of the 21st Century," JCPR Working Papers 187, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- N/A, 2001. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in an Era of Transition," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1152fe95ccc24842917ed5e46, Mathematica Policy Research.
- Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
- Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
- Heckman, James J, 1979.
"Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
- Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000.
"What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure,"
00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
- Robert F. Schoeni & Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Working Papers 00-02, RAND Corporation.
- Robert F. Schoeni & Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 7627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Finis Welch, 1993. "Matching the Current Population Surveys," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(12).
- Bruce D. Meyer, 1994.
"Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paracchi, F. & Welch, F., 1992.
"How Representative Are Matched Cross Sections? Evidence from the Current Population Survey,"
92-53, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Peracchi, Franco & Welch, Finis, 1995. "How representative are matched cross-sections? Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 153-179, July.
- Rebecca M. Blank, 2002.
"Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
- Paul D. Allison, 2000. "Multiple Imputation for Missing Data," Sociological Methods & Research, SAGE Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 301-309, February.
- Adrian Mander & David Clayton, 2000. "Hotdeck imputation," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(51).
- 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.
- White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Laura Stander Connolly, 2000. "The Effect of Welfare Reform on the Incomes and Earnings of Low-Income Families: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," JCPR Working Papers 181, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Brigitte C. Madrian & Lars John Lefgren, 1999. "A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9399. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.