Welfare Work Requirements and Child Well-Being: Evidence from the Effects on Breast-Feeding

Publication Abstract

Haider, Steven J., A. Jacknowitz, and Robert F. Schoeni. 2003. "Welfare Work Requirements and Child Well-Being: Evidence from the Effects on Breast-Feeding." Demography, 40(3): 479-497.

A central theme of welfare reform is that recipients are required to engage in work activities. In many states, these work requirements apply to mothers whose children are a few months old, which may increase the costs and decrease the prevalence of breast-feeding. Given the substantial bene is of breast-feeding, any reduction represents an important negative consequence of these requirements. Our results suggest that in the absence of welfare reform, the national breast-feeding rate six If months after birth would have been 5.5% higher in 2000. Such negative consequences of these policies must be-weighed against potential benefits as states refine their welfare programs.


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