Brian J. Phelan
Department of Economics
1 East Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
Institutional Affiliation: DePaul University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2015||Welfare Rules, Incentives, and Family Structure|
with Robert A. Moffitt, Anne E. Winkler: w21257
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 toge...