Welfare Dependence, Recidivism, and the Future for Recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Shao-Hsun Keng, Steven B. Garasky, Helen H. Jensen
July 2000  [00-WP 242]

In this paper, the authors examine welfare participation dynamics in Iowa from 1993 to 1996, the initial years of Iowa's welfare reform. Analyses of participation in the Family Investment Program (FIP) during its first two years show that, on average, FIP recipients stayed fewer months in the second year compared with the first. Using a fixed-effects model and a semiparametric duration model, the authors also examine welfare dependence and recidivism in Iowa. They find that human capital, child support, marital status, and the presence of children are all significant factors in reducing welfare dependence. Child support and wage income in particular are crucial factors, especially during the early months of the exit from welfare.

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