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