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Intergenerational and Program-Induced Effects of Welfare Dependency: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Santiago, Anna Maria. 1995. "Intergenerational and Program-Induced Effects of Welfare Dependency: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth." Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 16(2/3): 281-306.

This study uses data from the national Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine intergenerational and program-induced effects of welfare dependency. Three research questions are asked: (a) How do parental Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) receipt and other family background characteristics affect subsequent dependency on AFDC? (b) How do attitudes about welfare and state AFDC benefit levels affect AFDC dependency? and (c) How do the patterns and factors associated with AFDC dependency vary across racial and ethnic lines? The results suggest that women who grew up in households that received welfare during the woman's adolescence are approximately twice as likely to be dependent on AFDC in young adulthood as women whose families did not receive welfare. Further, state AFDC benefit levels are associated with higher risks of AFDC dependency, but the association is significant only for Anglo women. These analyses provide little support for the hypothesis that attitudes toward welfare and low-wage work increase the likelihood of welfare dependency.

Dataset used: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth: U.S., 1979-1988

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