Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 477–500 | Cite as

The effects of the welfare system on marital dissolution

  • McKinley L. BlackburnEmail author


The economic theory of marriage predicts that the partners’ expectations of greater financial resources outside of marriage should increase the probability of marital dissolution. One potential implication is that marriages should be less stable in states with higher AFDC benefits. I study this implication empirically using data on separations and divorces among marriages involving women in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. I find no supporting evidence that higher welfare benefits lead to increased rates of marital dissolution among married women with children.

Key Words

Divorce welfare AFDC 

JEL classification

J1 I3 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, The Darla Moore School of BusinessUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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