Beyond single mothers: Cohabitation and marriage in the AFDC program
- Cite this article as:
- Moffitt, R.A., Reville, R. & Winkler, A.E. Demography (1998) 35: 259. doi:10.2307/3004035
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We investigate the extent and implications of cohabitation and marriage among U.S. welfare recipients. An analysis of four data sets (the Current Population Survey, the National Survey of Families and Households, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth) shows significant numbers of cohabitors among recipients of AFDC. An even more surprising finding is the large number of married women on welfare. We also report the results of a telephone survey of state AFDC agencies conducted to determine state rules governing cohabitation and marriage. The survey results indicate that, in a number of respects, AFDC rules encourage cohabitation. Finally, we conduct an analysis of the impact of AFDC rules on cohabitation, marriage, and single motherhood and find weak evidence in support of incentives to cohabit.