The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being

A Review

Published in: The Economic Journal, v. 119, no. 535, Feb. 2009, p. F15-F37

by Jeffrey Grogger, Lynn A. Karoly

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Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work. Although the effects of such programmes on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. The authors review a few studies that provide such information here. The authors sketch a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that the authors observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. Our theoretical framework likewise explains the observed variation in the effects of such programmes on children.

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