Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title The American Welfare System and Family Structure: A Historical Perspective
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
URL http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.502.7487&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Abstract
Cross-sectional studies have found a positive relationship between a state’s welfare
benefit level and single motherhood. But is this evidence of a “welfare effect” or rather
of cross state differences in social attitudes that influence both welfare policy and
behavior? This study looks at the history of welfare programs over the twentieth century
and examines the relationship between welfare benefits and family structure from 1910
and 1970. Cross-state variation in welfare policy was already present in the mothers’
pensions programs enacted in the 1910s, but evidence of a welfare effect does not appear
until 1960 or 1970.

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