Welfare Reform, Living Arrangements, and Economic Well-Being: A Synthesis of Literature

The Urban Institute, June 2002

55 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2013

See all articles by Caroline E. Ratcliffe

Caroline E. Ratcliffe

The Urban Institute - Labor and Social Policy Center

Signe-Mary McKernan

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Emily Rosenberg

The Urban Institute

Date Written: June 2002

Abstract

A primary objective of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) is reducing single mothers' dependence on the welfare system. This objective is sought not only through increased work, but also through changes in household structure — particularly encouraging healthy marriages and the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. Indeed, moving from a one-parent to a two-parent family may have positive implications for the economic well-being of families with children.

This literature review focuses on the relationships between welfare reform, household structure, economic well-being, and resource sharing. In particular, we address two questions:

Have changes in welfare policies in the 1990s affected household structure? What are the effects of household structure on economic well-being and intra-household resource sharing? Studies examining these research questions have used qualitative and quantitative (both nonexperimental and experimental) methods. The qualitative studies reviewed are based on in-depth interviews with relatively few respondents; the nonexperimental quantitative studies are, for the most part, carried out with large-scale nationally representative data sets; and the experimental quantitative studies use both state administrative and welfare client survey data, and are based on random assignment designs. The effects of welfare reform on living arrangements have been examined using nonexperimental quantitative and experimental quantitative methods, while studies of the effects of living arrangements on economic well-being and resource sharing have used qualitative and nonexperimental quantitative methods.

Keywords: families and parenting, poverty and safety net

Suggested Citation

Ratcliffe, Caroline E. and McKernan, Signe-Mary and Rosenberg, Emily, Welfare Reform, Living Arrangements, and Economic Well-Being: A Synthesis of Literature (June 2002). The Urban Institute, June 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2205862

Caroline E. Ratcliffe

The Urban Institute - Labor and Social Policy Center ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-261-5548 (Phone)
202-463-8522 (Fax)

Signe-Mary McKernan (Contact Author)

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population ( email )

United States

Emily Rosenberg

The Urban Institute

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
28
Abstract Views
349
PlumX Metrics