Reviews problems of public welfare in the US, highlighting the negative effects of the expansion of the welfare system on poverty levels. It is argued that the welfare system has created behavioral disincentives that trap many recipients in poverty across generations by producing dependency & decreasing work effort. Increased dependence, in turn, has strong negative effects on children's intellectual abilities & life prospects: children raised by families on welfare are more likely to fail in school, be engaged in criminal activities, & end up on welfare themselves. Welfare reform, it is argued, must acknowledge the fact that most programs designed to alleviate material poverty lead to an increase in behavioral poverty. R. Jaramillo
A brief introduction to means-tested public benefit - Financial deprivation in the United States -- Issues in designing a means test -- Family members as sources of support -- Legal entitlements and program administration -- Responsive entitlements -- Functional entitlements and service programs -- Federalism in public benefits programs -- Effort to change claimant's behavior -- Public benefits and the politics of work -- Public benefits as an extension of immigration law -- Disability issues and public benefits -- A look to the future of anti-poverty strategies
The unit of analysis is population aggregates--counties in Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA) of the contiguous US. The frame of reference is applicable to an analysis of social & economic conditions that stimulate or retard migration to or from an area. The basic goal is to test the level of AFDC payment per family in an analysis scheme including "pull" factors which are most applicable to nonwhite migration to metropolitan counties. The dependent variable is the 1950-60 net migration rate for nonwhites aged 25-29. AFDC payment levels are measured by the average county payment per family in 1960. Superior opportunities for employment, the opportunity to earn a larger income, & the relative gap between nonwhite & white income levels are all shown to be important attracting forces. A description of the total sample (185 SMSA counties), & subsamples is given as well as the means & standard deviations for each sample & subsample, & zero-order correlations. AFDC is a significant factor in nonwhite net in-migration to larger but not smaller northern & western cities, & not important in nonwhite migration to southern cities where employment opportunities & wages are more important. Once the decision is made to migrate, the area of destination is more likely to be a city which offers greater opportunities. Consequently, migration tends to be to large cities in states which coincidentally provide higher AFDC benefits. The weight of the evidence from both aggregate & individual field study rejects the thesis that differential level of welfare payment is a direct cause of nonwhite migration to cities. 5 Tables. S. Coler.