Life after Welfare: The Economic Well-Being of Women and Children Following an Exit from Afdc

IRP Discussion Paper 1101-96

Posted: 11 Sep 1996

See all articles by Daniel R. Meyer

Daniel R. Meyer

University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Social Work

Maria Cancian

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Date Written: July 1996

Abstract

Much previous research has focused on the length of welfare spells and returns to welfare following an exit. Few quantitative studies have looked at broader indicators of the economic well-being of those who have exited AFDC. In this paper we use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NSLY) to trace welfare use, poverty status and primary sources of income in the five years following an exit from welfare. We find that while there is a trend toward improved economic status over time, 40 percent of women remain poor five years after exit. Women with more advantaged family backgrounds, those with fewer children or those with more education at exit are more likely to consistently escape poverty. Median income increases over the first five years from about $10,500 to about $15,000 (1992 dollars). Own earnings are the most prevalent income source, followed by spouse's earnings, and mean-tested transfers.

JEL Classification: H53, I3, J1

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Daniel R. and Cancian, Maria, Life after Welfare: The Economic Well-Being of Women and Children Following an Exit from Afdc (July 1996). IRP Discussion Paper 1101-96, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3309

Daniel R. Meyer (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Social Work ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States
608-262-7336 (Phone)
608-263-3678 (Fax)

Maria Cancian

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

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