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Welfare reform and family expenditures: how are single mothers adapting to the new welfare and work regime?

Kaushal, Neeraj, Gao, Qin and Waldfogel, Jane (2007) Welfare reform and family expenditures: how are single mothers adapting to the new welfare and work regime? Social Service Review, 81 (3). pp. 369-396. ISSN 0037-7961

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Identification Number: 10.1086/520341


This work studies the association between welfare reform, broadly defined to include an array of social policy changes affecting low‐income families in the 1990s, and expenditure patterns of poor single‐mother families. The findings suggest that welfare reform is not associated with any statistically significant change in total expenditures in families headed by low‐educated single mothers. However, patterns of expenditure changed. The reform policy is associated with an increase in spending on transportation and food away from home, as well as on adult clothing and footwear. In contrast, it is not related to changes in expenditures on child care or learning and enrichment activities. The pattern of results suggests that welfare reform has shifted family expenditures toward items that facilitate work outside the home but, at least so far, does not allow low‐income families to catch up with more advantaged families in expenditures on learning and enrichment.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 University of Chicago Press
Divisions: STICERD
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D10 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I38 - Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Date Deposited: 17 May 2012 13:19
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:43

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