ERIC Number: ED450195
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Welfare Benefits and Female Headship in the U.S. Times Series. Discussion Paper.
Moffitt, Robert A.
Considerable research has been done on the relationship between Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits and family structure. Evidence based on cross-state variation in welfare benefits and family structure indicates some nonzero effect of those benefits on marriage and fertility. It shows that time-series trends in family structure are not correlated in the direction suggested by cross-state evidence because real benefits have been falling, even relative to wages, in aggregate time series. This paper uses data from the 1968-96 March Current Population Survey to reexamine the time-series evidence, examining the role of wages in explaining trends in headship. Controlling for both male and female wages, welfare benefits have a slight positive affect on female headship even in time series. Results demonstrate the importance of labor market factors in explaining trends in female headship. The addition of female wages to a time-series headship equation reverses the sign on the AFDC benefit from negative to positive and makes them more positive. Adding the male wage to the equation makes the benefit coefficient even more positive. The paper outlines an economic model of female headship incorporating wage and benefit effects in a simple way. (Contains 21 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Family Structure, Females, Heads of Households, Labor Market, Mothers, Wages, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Services
Web site: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/irp/.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children