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AFDC, SSI, and Welfare Reform Aggressiveness: Caseload Reductions versus Caseload Shifting

Lucie Schmidt () and Purvi Sevak

Journal of Human Resources, 2004, vol. 39, issue 3

Abstract: Welfare reform has made receipt of cash benefits more difficult and less attractive for single mothers. We examine whether reforms of AFDC affected caseloads of another program—Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We exploit state variation in welfare reform over time, and find that femaleheaded households in states aggressively pursuing welfare reform were 21.6 percent more likely to receive SSI. This implies that a decrease in caseloads in one program cannot be interpreted as an equal-sized decrease in the number of families receiving public assistance. In addition, our results have policy implications for the well-being of families affected by welfare reform time limits.

Date: 2004
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