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Multiple-Father Fertility and Welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Evenhouse, Eirik
  • Reilly, Siobhan

Abstract

In the United States, multi-partnered fertility (MPF) has become commonplace. This study provides the first nationally representative measures of women’s MPF, across multiple years, using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Surveys of Income and Program Participation. Because welfare rules contain strong incentives for MPF, and because MPF is especially common among welfare recipients, we also examine the relationship between welfare and MPF. Focusing on the pre-TANF period 1985 to 1996, when welfare rules were more comparable across states and the absence of time limits made the incentives for MPF larger, we find little behavioral response. Among low-income mothers, MPF does not appear to be driven by program design. Because the incentives were relatively large and reached well up the income distribution, our findings amplify those of earlier studies that show little demographic response to antipoverty programs, and invite reconsideration of how much these incentives should constrain transfer programs that target children.

Suggested Citation

  • Evenhouse, Eirik & Reilly, Siobhan, 2010. "Multiple-Father Fertility and Welfare," MPRA Paper 26305, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26305
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/26305/1/MPRA_paper_26305.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 291-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert A. Moffitt, 2000. "Welfare Benefits and Female Headship in U.S. Time Series," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 373-377, May.
    3. R. A. Moffitt & R. Reville & A. E. Winkler, "undated". "Beyond single mothers: Cohabition, marriage, and the U.S. welfare system," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1068-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    4. R. A. Moffitt & R. Reville & A. E. Winkler, "undated". "State AFDC rules regarding the treatment of cohabitors: 1993," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1058-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    5. repec:pri:crcwel:wp02-03-ff-mincy is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:pri:crcwel:wp10-03-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 33-64, December.
    8. Lucia A. Nixon, 1997. "The Effect of Child Support Enforcement on Marital Dissolution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 159-181.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evenhouse, Eirik & Reilly, Siobhan, 2010. "Multiple-Father Fertility and Arrest Rates," MPRA Paper 22818, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multiple-father fertility; Multi-partnered fertility; SIPP; Survey of Income and Program Participation; AFDC; effects on family structure of welfare program;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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