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The Dynamics of AFDC, Medicaid, and Food Stamps: A Preliminary Report

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  • Mairead Reidy
  • Lucy Mackey-Bilaver
  • Robert M. Goerge
  • Yizu Yeh
  • Bong Joo Lee

Abstract

Over the course of the last 60 years, the United States has developed a series of public programs to aid economically disadvantaged people that involve both cash and in-kind assistance. Much of our understanding of public assistance is based on an important body of work examining factors that influence exit from and return to the most heavily used cash public assistance program Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Over the past two decades, a significant body of work has evolved on AFDC duration and the welfare careers of AFDC recipients. The AFDC program has rarely shared the spotlight with other in-kind programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps, even though many AFDC recipients simultaneously use these noncash programs, or continue to use them once their AFDC eligibility stops. In this paper, we hope to broaden this perspective and extend the literature on welfare careers by examining the use of Medicaid or food stamps among families who leave and return to AFDC. We use state-level administrative data, gathered by the Illinois Department of Human Services, to create grantee or case level longitudinal data spanning 1989-1997 to address these issues. Using both simple descriptive statistics and a succession of event-history analysis models, we explore timing of exit from and transitions across programs among a series of AFDC entry cohorts, and we examine the effects of individual socioeconomic and demographic characteristics on these events.

Suggested Citation

  • Mairead Reidy & Lucy Mackey-Bilaver & Robert M. Goerge & Yizu Yeh & Bong Joo Lee, 1998. "The Dynamics of AFDC, Medicaid, and Food Stamps: A Preliminary Report," JCPR Working Papers 48, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:48
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. O'Connell, Philip J. & Russell, Helen & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Human Resources," Book Chapters,in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Local Labor Markets And Welfare Spells: Do Demand Conditions Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 351-368, August.
    3. Hoynes, Hilary & MaCurdy, Thomas, 1994. "Has the Decline in Benefits Shortened Welfare Spells?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 43-48, May.
    4. O'Neill, June A & Bassi, Laurie J & Wolf, Douglas A, 1987. "The Duration of Welfare Spells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 241-248, May.
    5. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-283, August.
    6. J. Fitzgerald, "undated". "A hazard model for welfare durations with unobserved location-specific effects," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1046-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    7. Blank, Rebecca M & Ruggles, Patricia, 1994. "Short-Term Recidivism among Public-Assistance Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 49-53, May.
    8. G. Sandefur & S. Cook, "undated". "Duration of Public Assistance Receipt: Is Welfare a Trap?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1129-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    9. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
    10. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
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    12. Robert Plotnick, 1983. "Turnover in the AFDC Population: An Event History Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 65-81.
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    Cited by:

    1. Helen H. Jensen & Shao-Hsun Keng & Steven Garasky, 2000. "Location and the Low Income Experience: Analyses of Program Dynamics in the Iowa Family Investment Program," JCPR Working Papers 194, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    2. Toby Fattore & Jan Mason & Elizabeth Watson, 2007. "Children’s conceptualisation(s) of their well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 80(1), pages 5-29, January.

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