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Title: Essays on Behavioral Responses to Welfare Generosity
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Kumazawa, Risa
Essays on Behavioral Responses to Welfare Generosity
Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 2002
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Marital Disruption; Migration; State Welfare; Welfare; Women; Women's Studies

This research investigates the effects of women's behavioral responses to welfare generosity in the United States during the years prior to the welfare reform. While policy makers argued that welfare-induced migration and marital breakups were likely to promote subsequent dependence on welfare in more generous states, the literature continued to show insignificant behavioral responses to differential state benefit levels. Despite such results, the welfare reform of 1996 was designed to reduce the disincentive effects of the welfare system. Chapter 1 introduces an alternative measure of welfare generosity that sheds light on the insignificant results of previous literature. The "replacement ratio" measures how much of each state's welfare benefit levels can be replaced by typical wages of a homogenous group of workers. This measure is an improvement over the conventional measure that only indexes benefits to the Consumer Price Index as there are significant cost-of-living differences across states and over time. In subsequent chapters, the replacement ratio is used as an alternative measure of welfare generosity to show greater behavioral responses due to its greater interstate and inter-temporal dispersion. Chapter 2 investigates whether women in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) who have a higher propensity to migrate to a more generous state are at-risk of becoming welfare dependent over the long term. Unlike the previous studies that did not link the two behavioral responses, this paper finds that there is a direct link between welfare migration propensities and welfare duration, if a sample of welfare eligible women are considered. The results support the action of policy makers to introduced time limits, despite a lack of strong empirical evidence that linked welfare dependence to welfare migration propensities. Chapter 3 studies how heterogeneity of marital status affects welfare participation. While years since divorce does not matter, the predicted hazard rates of first and second marriages are correlated with the race/ethnicity variables and affect welfare participation by reducing the significance of these observable differences across women.
Bibliography Citation
Kumazawa, Risa. Essays on Behavioral Responses to Welfare Generosity. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 2002.