Civic ReportNo. 35 March 2003Gaining Ground, Moving Up: The Change in the Economic Status of Single Mother Under Welfare Reform
Table 2: The Contribution of Welfare Reform, Changes in Unemployment, and the EITC to the Increase in Work Participation of Single Mothers
Waiver Period (Before TANF): Jul–Dec, 1993–Jan–Jun, 1996
TANF Period: Mar–Aug, 1996–Jul–Dec, 2001
Actual change in the percent employed (in percentage points)
Inferred share of the change in the percent employed contributed by:
(1) Welfare policy 1)
(2) Change in unemployment
(3) Increase in EITC maximum credit for one and two child families
1) Welfare policy in the waiver period refers to the implementation of a major waiver by states, which implemented such waivers at different times. Although TANF was enacted in August 1996, it was implemented in different states at different times, starting in September 1996 and ending in January 1998. Thus welfare policy in the second period is largely the effect of TANF, although the termination of waivers is incorporated.
Note: The contributions of welfare reform, the change in unemployment and the EITC to the increase in the percent employed among single mothers are estimated based on regression coefficients that measure the effect of each of these factors on the percent employed and the changes in the proportion of single mothers exposed to the variable. See text for additional explanation. The basic data source for the regression results is the CPS micro data files for the Outgoing Rotation Groups (ORG), monthly data for the period 1984–2001. The inferred shares do not sum to 100 because factors other than those shown also contribute to the outcomes.
Table 3: Hours Worked During the Year and Annual Earnings of Single Mothers by Welfare Status, 1988/89, 1995/96 and 1999/2000
All single mothers
Percent received any welfare benefits
-13.6 percentage pt.
9.3 percentage pt.
Among those who worked 1):
Hours worked during the year
Annual total earnings (2001 dollars)
14.1 percentage pt.
Received No Welfare:
1.2 percentage pt.
1) Single mother workers are restricted to those who reported positive earnings and those with more than 4 hours worked a week and more than 4 weeks worked during the year. Earnings include self-employment and wage and salary income.
Source: Calculated from March CPS, micro data for single mothers ages 18–44 with own children under 18.
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