Determinants of AFDC Caseload Growth. 4. Other Program Variables and State Laws

07/01/1997

All of the following programs are either substitutes or complements for AFDC: Medicaid, general assistance (GA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and unemployment insurance (UI). That is, these programs provide benefits to some members of AFDC families that, in the case of substitutes, are counted against AFDC benefits (GA, SSI, and UI) or that, in the case of complements, are obtained because the family receives AFDC (Medicaid). All of these programs changed substantially in at least some states during the sample period, and we attempt to capture the effects of these changes on AFDC participation and average monthly benefits through a set of program variables. Note that we also take the effects of changes in the Food Stamp program into account via adjustments to the maximum monthly AFDC benefit variable.

We also attempt to estimate the impacts of state laws concerning establishment of paternity; enforcement of child support; and limits on abortions on AFDC participation and/or average monthly benefits. The variables we develop to capture changes in other programs and changes in state laws are described below.