Martin, Molly A.
Working paper no. 1998-09
The reasons for the intergenerational association of welfare participation are poorly understood. Past work has examined what portion of the intergenerational association of welfare participation is due to an intergenerational association of low family income. The results of this work have been contradictory and inconclusive. To test this relationship, I compare daughters from low income families who do not participate in the system with daughters from low income families who do utilize welfare. Using a sample of daughters born between 1958 and 1964 from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I model their participation in welfare between the ages of 23 and 27. Analyses look at the relationship of mother’s and daughter’s participation in Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and a more broadly defined package of welfare benefits. Nonwhites and daughters with mothers with less than a high school diploma are more likely to participate in AFDC and welfare as adults and receive assistance for longer periods of time. Although continuous measures of family income have significant negative effects on adult participation, results indicate the relationship between mother’s and daughter’s welfare usage is not merely due to an intergenerational association of poverty.