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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 1998||Unintended Consequences? Welfare Reform and the Working Poor|
with Ann Dryden Witte, Magaly Queralt, Harriet Griesinger: w6798
We have used a unique longitudinal database that incorporates information from diverse administrative and research sources to examine the impact of the early stages of welfare reform on poor working families who do not receive cash assistance. Our data are for 2791 working poor families from March 1996 through February 1997. Using a number of different estimation techniques, we find that the impact of the simultaneous October 1996 implementation of welfare reform and a federal minimum wage increase was to lower the earnings of the working poor families in our sample by approximately 6%. We find that increases in funding for Child Care Subsidies associated with welfare reform led to a significant increase in earnings. On net, the increase in Child Care Subsidies and the decrease in earning...
Published: Social Service Review, Vol. 74 (December 2000).
|April 1998||Effects of Information Provision in an Vertically Differentiated Market|
with Ann Dryden Witte: w6493
We study the effects of consumer information on equlibrium market prices and observable product quality in the market for child care. Child care markets offer a unique opportunity to study these effects because of the existence of resource and referral agencies (R&Rs) in some markets. R&Rs provide consumers with information on availability, price, and observable characteristics of care. To understand the effects of information provision in markets like child care, we examine the effects of information provision in a model of vertical differentiation. We show conditions in which increased consumer information reduces price dispersion, maximum price, and average price. With this model we examine empirically the effects of R&Rs on the distribution of child care prices and on the distributi...
|July 1997||An Empirical Investigation of Firms' Responses to Minimum Standards Regulations|
with Ann Dryden Witte: w6104
We study firms' responses to minimum standards and other forms of regulatory intervention on both the probability of exit and the distribution of observable product quality, using firm level data for a nationally representative sample of markets. Our empirical work is motivated by the literature on quality and price competition in the presence of minimum standards. We find that minimum standards increase the probability that firms exit certain markets. Moreover, we find that exit can cause both the average and the maximum quality observed in the market to decline. This perverse regulatory effect occurs when excessively high standards cause high quality firms to exit. When minimum standards do not lead to exit, minimum standards can increase the average and maximum quality of products i...
Published: Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 21 (April 1999): 111-146.
|December 1994||Economic Effects of Quality Regulations in the Daycare Industry|
with Ann Dryden Witte: w4953
We estimate reduced form models to discern the effect of state regulation of the quality of center and family day care. Specifically, we consider the effects of the number of mandated inspections, limits on group size and staff/child ratio, and staff training requirements on equilibrium price and hours of care and the quality of care as measured by the actual staff/child ratio. The specification of the reduced form model is derived from an eight equation market model for wages and work hours, type of child care chosen, price and hours of care and a set of hedonic equations for the characteristics of care. The results indicate strongly that child care regulations do affect equilibrium price, hours of care, and staff/child ratios. Child care regulations are binding. In equilibrium, only re...
Published: American Economic Review, vol 85 (1995) pp 419-424.