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AFDC, SSI, and Welfare Reform Aggressiveness: Caseload Reductions vs. Caseload Shifting

Lucie Schmidt () and Purvi Sevak ()

No 2002-03, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

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 female-headed 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: 2000-12
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Published in Journal of Human Resources 39(3): 792-812.

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