Robert Moffitt - Johns Hopkins

Welfare Rules, Incentives, and Family Structure

    Date:  02/15/2018 (Thu)

    Time:  3:30pm- 5:00pm

    Location:  Seminar will be held on-site: Gross Hall 270

    Organizer:  V. Joseph Hotz, Ph.D.

Meeting Schedule: Login or email the organizer to schedule a meeting.

    All meetings will be held in the same location as the seminar unless otherwise noted.

    8:30am - Breakfast with Joe Hotz and Linda Burton (at J.B. Duke Hotel)

   10:00am - Pierluigi Conzo (University of Turin & Collegio Carlo Alberto - DuPRI visiting scholar)

   10:30am - Duncan Thomas

   11:00am - Kate Vyborny

   11:30am - Emma Zang

   12:00pm - Lunch- D. Linh Nguyen and Scott Abrahams and Xian Jiang and Nivedhitha Subramanian

    1:30pm - D. Linh Nguyen

    2:00pm - Matt Masten

    2:30pm - Angie O'Rand

    3:00pm - Margie McElroy

    3:30pm - Seminar Presentation (3:30pm to 5:00pm)

    5:00pm - Rob Garlick

    6:00pm - Dinner at Counting House w/ Joe Hotz, Angie O'Rand, Liz Ananat, Rebecca Lehrman, and Seth Sanders

    Additional Comments:  We provide a new examination of the incentive effects of welfare rules on family structure among low-income women by emphasizing that the eligibility and benefit rules in the AFDC and TANF programs are based more on the biological relationship between the children and any male in the household than on marriage or cohabitation per se. Using data from 1996 through 2008, we analyze the effects of 1990s welfare reforms on family structure categories that incorporate the biological status of the male. Like past work, we find that most policies did not affect family structure. However, we do find that several work-related reforms increased single parenthood and decreased marriage to biological fathers. These results are especially evident when multiple work-related policies were implemented together and when we examine the longer term impacts of the policies. We posit that these effects of work-related welfare policies on family structure stem from their effects on increased labor force participation and earnings of single mothers combined with factors special to biological fathers, including a decline in their employment and wages.