The Dynamics of Welfare Dependency: A Survey.

by David W. Lyon

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A review of published research on the dynamics of welfare dependency prepared for the Welfare Policy Project of The Ford Foundation and The Institute for Policy Sciences and Public Affairs at Duke University. Reviews research in four areas: work incentive effects of guaranteed incomes; caseload forecasting models; the income dynamics of poverty families; and impact of work programs on dependency. Some findings: (1) Lower benefit-loss rates tend to result in more AFDC mothers working rather than an increase in hours worked. (2) The average stay on the rolls is between two and three years. (3) The job market has a measurable effect on the welfare decision. (4) Benefit levels have only a minor influence on migration. (5) Administrative policy causes an important part of the dynamic behavior found in the AFDC caseload, but it does not offset the evidence that welfare dependency is essentially an economic decision. 49 pp. Bibliog.

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