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Welfare Reform and Children's Short-Run Attainments

34 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2008 Last revised: 10 Sep 2008

Hau Chyi


Orgul D. Ozturk

University of South Carolina

Date Written: September 8, 2008


Using PIAT Math test score as a measure of attainment, we find that both single mothers' work and welfare use in the first five years of their children's lives have a positive effect on children's outcomes, but this effect declines with initial ability. The higher the initial ability of a child, the lower the positive impact work and welfare have. In fact, in the case of welfare the effect is negative if a child has more than median initial ability. Furthermore, we find that the work requirement reduces a single mother's use of welfare. However, the net effect of the work requirement on a child's test score depends on whether the mother's work brings in enough labor income to compensate for the loss of welfare benefits. We also look at the implications of the welfare eligibility time limit and maternal leave policies on children's outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Chyi, Hau mname and Ozturk, Orgul mname, Welfare Reform and Children's Short-Run Attainments (September 8, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Hau Chyi

NORC ( email )

55 E. Monroe, Ste. 4800
Chicago, IL 60603
United States

Orgul Ozturk (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina ( email )

1014 Greene street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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