, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 259–278 | Cite as

Beyond single mothers: Cohabitation and marriage in the AFDC program

  • Robert A. MoffittEmail author
  • Robert Reville
  • Anne E. Winkler
Living Arrangements, Families, and Fertility in the United States and Europe


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.


Single Mother Current Population Survey Food Stamp Marriage Rate Welfare Recipient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Moffitt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert Reville
    • 2
  • Anne E. Winkler
    • 3
  1. 1.Economics DepartmentJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore
  2. 2.RANDSanta MonicaUSA
  3. 3.Economics DepartmentUniversity of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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