The Working Poor and Welfare Recipiency

The Jerome Levy Economics Institute WP No. 151

45 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 1998

See all articles by Marlene Kim

Marlene Kim

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics

Thanos Mergoupis

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Abstract

Current welfare debates assume that the poor are taking unfair advantage of the largess of the government by shunning work for welfare benefits. Yet many studies have shown that many of those who qualify for welfare benefits fail to receive assistance. This study adds to this growing body of research by examining the extent to which the working poor who qualify for AFDC, Food Stamps, and Medicaid receive these benefits. We find that a substantial number of the working poor do not receive the benefits for which they qualify. In addition, those who qualify for welfare benefits are not out of the ordinary: most are in married couple families, are in their prime working years, have at least high school educations, and work many hours. The jobs they hold, which tend to be in low-paid service occupations and industries, seem to deposit them into their precarious position of belonging to the working poor.

JEL Classification: I31, I38

Suggested Citation

Kim, Marlene and Mergoupis, Thanos, The Working Poor and Welfare Recipiency. The Jerome Levy Economics Institute WP No. 151, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=94608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.94608

Marlene Kim (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics ( email )

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
617-287-6954 (Phone)
617-287-6976 (Fax)

Thanos Mergoupis

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
154
Abstract Views
1,405
rank
222,702
PlumX Metrics