Do welfare reform policies affect marital stability among two-parent families? Long term findings from an experiment in Minnesota, evaluated via a random assignment design, contribute to the little evidence to date about whether or not welfare and income-support policies can affect marital stability. In 1994, Minnesota began to test a major welfare reform initiative that emphasized financial incentives for work, a participation requirement for long-term recipients, and the simplification of rules and procedures for receiving public assistance. An analysis of this program's long-run effects on marital stability for two-parent families finds no effect overall but contrasting effects for several subgroups. MFIP particularly lowered the rate of divorce among families who were already receiving welfare when they entered the study. There are less consistent effects among new applicants to MFIP – who show a trend toward higher rates of divorce relative to the control group.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2004
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