Determinants of welfare entry and exit by young women
Using data from the youngest cohorts of women in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this study constructs AFDC histories starting at age 15. Most young women go on AFDC for the first time between ages 18 and 25 and do so in the first few years after the birth of their first baby. We use these histories to estimate models of the determinants of initial use of AFDC and of the rate of exit from the first AFDC spell. The models show little evidence that welfare benefits affect the likelihood and timing of AFDC use, except that higher Medicaid benefits are associated with slower rates of exit from an initial AFDC spell. Parental welfare receipt, the home educational environment, family structure, academic achievement, attitudes toward school, and race are significantly related to the likelihood of participating in AFDC and the rate of entry and exit.
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