The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review
51 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2007 Last revised: 11 Dec 2007
Date Written: October 2007
Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work, either via wage subsidies available only to workers or via work requirements in more traditional welfare programs. Although the effects of such programs on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. We review a small number of studies that provide such information here. Our discussion of marriage is couched in terms of a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that we observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. The theoretical framework in which we couch our review of results on children is likewise consistent with the observed variation between programs and among children of different ages.
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