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The Impact of Welfare Benefits on Single Motherhood and Headship of Young Women: Evidence from the Census

Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn and Jane Waldfogel
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 39, No. 2 (Spring, 2004), pp. 382-404
DOI: 10.2307/3559019
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3559019
Page Count: 23
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The Impact of Welfare Benefits on Single Motherhood and Headship of Young Women: Evidence from the Census
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Abstract

This paper uses data from the 1970, 1980, and 1990 Censuses to investigate the impact of welfare benefits across Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) on the incidence of single motherhood and headship for young women. A contribution of the paper is the inclusion of both MSA fixed effects and MSA-specific time trends to account for fixed and trending unmeasured factors that could influence both welfare benefit levels and family formation. In such a model, we find no effect of welfare benefits on single motherhood for whites or blacks, and a positive effect of welfare benefits on single headship only for blacks.

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