The Effects of Welfare Reform on the Academic Performance of Children in Low-Income Households
58 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2006 Last revised: 14 Jul 2009
Date Written: March 1, 2009
During the 1990s, U.S. welfare policy underwent dramatic reforms aimed at promoting employment and reducing dependence. Although the immediate effects on adult labor supply and family income have been studied extensively, this paper is the first to evaluate the long-run effects on children’s well-being. Using a decade of national math achievement data and controlling for contemporaneous changes in education policy and environment, we associate welfare reform with relative test score improvements for low-income students. Greater gains occur in states with larger initial welfare caseloads and larger caseload reductions.
Keywords: welfare reform, adademic performance, low-income children, test score gap
JEL Classification: H5, I2, I3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation