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Assessing the Relationship Between Welfare Policies and Changes in Living Arrangements of Low-Income Families and Children in the Late 1990s.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Acs, G.
Nelson, S.
Technical Report
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This paper uses data from the 1997 and 1999 National Survey of America's Families to examine the impact of state welfare policies and practices on the living arrangements of low-income families with children. Trends in living arrangements are compared for low-and high-income families across 13 states to detect variations among jurisdictions with different welfare policies. A 3D multivariate regression-based model was used to track changes in living arrangements for the families targeted by welfare policies and for a control group of higher income families in the same state. Results from the "difference-in-difference-in-differences" model suggest that effective collection of child support and family cap policies are correlated with declines in single parenting and increases in dual parenting. Earned income tax credits and welfare policies such as sanctions, two-parent welfare eligibility rules, and stepparent income deeming rules have no clear consistent association with living arrangements. (Author abstract modified) 28 references, 6 tables.

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