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Beyond single mothers: Cohabition, marriage, and the U.S. welfare system

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  • R. A. Moffitt
  • R. Reville
  • A. E. Winkler

Abstract

We investigate the extent and implications of cohabitation and marriage among U.S. welfare recipients. An analysis of four data sets (the CPS, NSFH, PSID, and NLSY) shows significant numbers of cohabitors among recipients of AFDC. An even more surprising finding is the large number of married women on AFDC. We also report the results of a telephone survey of state AFDC agencies conducted to determine state rules governing cohabitation and marriage. The survey results indicate that, in a number of respects, cohabitation is encouraged by the AFDC rules. Finally, we conduct a brief analysis of the impact of AFDC rules on cohabitation, marriage, and headship, and find weak evidence in support of incentives to cohabit.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1068-95
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
    2. T. Paul Schultz, 1994. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 637-669.
    3. Anne E. Winkler, 1995. "Does AFDC-up encourage two-parent families?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 4-24.
    4. Saul Hoffman & Greg Duncan, 1988. "Multinomial and conditional logit discrete-choice models in demography," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(3), pages 415-427, August.
    5. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "The effect of the U.S. welfare system on marital status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 101-124, February.
    6. Sheldon Danziger & George Jakubson & Saul Schwartz & Eugene Smolensky, 1982. "Work and Welfare as Determinants of Female Poverty and Household Headship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(3), pages 519-534.
    7. John H. Bishop, 1980. "Jobs, Cash Transfers and Marital Instability: A Review and Synthesis of the Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 301-334.
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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Mark W., 1999. "The impact of state welfare policies on women's cohabitation," MPRA Paper 19288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Houser, Scott, 1998. "Taxes and Transfers: A New Look at the Marriage Penalty," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 175-217, June.
    3. Azuara, Oliver, 2011. "Effect of universal health coverage on marriage, cohabitation and labor force participation," MPRA Paper 35074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Evenhouse, Eirik & Reilly, Siobhan, 2010. "Multiple-Father Fertility and Welfare," MPRA Paper 26305, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Wei-Yin Hu, 1999. "Marriage and Economic Incentives: Evidence from a Welfare Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 83, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. Rebecca A London, 2000. "The interaction between single mothers' living arrangements and welfare participation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 93-117.
    7. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Scott Houser, 2002. "How well can we track cohabitation using the sipp? A consideration of direct and inferred measures," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(3), pages 455-465, August.
    8. Evenhouse, Eirik & Reilly, Siobhan, 2010. "Multiple-Father Fertility and Arrest Rates," MPRA Paper 22818, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Anne Winkler, 1997. "Economic decision-making by cohabitors: findings regarding income pooling," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 1079-1090.
    10. Ronald Mincy & Shoshana Grossbard & Chien-Chung Huang, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of Co-Parenting Choices: Single Parent, Visiting Father, Cohabitation, Marriage," Labor and Demography 0505004, EconWPA.
    11. Jagannathan, Radha, 2004. "Children's living arrangements from a social policy implementation perspective," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 121-141, February.
    12. H. W. Hoynes, "undated". "Work, Welfare, and Family Structure: A Review of the Evidence," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1103-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    13. David T. Ellwood, 1999. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," JCPR Working Papers 124, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    14. José Canals-Cerdá & Shiferaw Gurmu, 2008. "Premarital Birth Among Young Hispanic Women: Evidence from Semiparametric Competing Risks Analysis," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 36(4), pages 421-440, December.

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