Union Formation after Welfare Reform

Rukmalie Jayakody, Pennsylvania State University
Sheldon H. Danziger, University of Michigan
Kristin Seefeldt, University of Michigan
Sarah A. Avellar, University of Michigan

In order to better understand union formation in the aftermath of welfare reform, information is needed on which welfare recipients are most likely to marry and cohabit. We examine this question using longitudinal data from the 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the Women's Employment Survey (WES). The SIPP contains monthly information on a nationally representative sample. The WES is a longitudinal survey of welfare recipients in one urban Michigan county. In addition to examining who marries and cohabits after welfare reform, we also examine women and children's well-being post union. Economic well-being post-union entrance is examined in both SIPP and WES. Additionally, the unique information contained in WES is used to examine whether, as some advocates fear, domestic violence has increased after union entrance and whether any changes in mental health are apparent.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 56: Public Policy and the Family