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ERIC Number: ED503309
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Welfare Reform on Educational Acquisition of Young Adult Women. NBER Working Paper No. 14466
Dave, Dhaval M.; Reichman, Nancy E.; Corman, Hope
National Bureau of Economic Research
Education beyond traditional ages for schooling is an important source of human capital accumulation among adult women. Welfare reform, which began in the early 1990s and culminated in the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996, has promoted work rather than educational acquisition for this group. Exploiting variation in welfare reform across states and over time and using relevant comparison groups, we undertake a comprehensive study of the effects of welfare reform on adult women's human capital acquisition. We first estimate effects of welfare reform on high school dropout of teenage girls, both to improve on past research on this issue and to explore compositional changes that may be relevant for our primary analyses of the effects of welfare reform on the educational acquisition of adult women. We conduct numerous specification checks and explore the mediating role of work. We find robust and convincing evidence that welfare reform has significantly decreased the probability of both high school and college attendance among young adult women by 20-25 percent. This result indicates that the gains from welfare reform in terms of increases in employment and reductions in caseloads have come at a cost in terms of lower educational attainment among adult women at risk for relying on welfare.
National Bureau of Economic Research. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act