Determinants of AFDC Caseload Growth. C. MODELING CHANGES IN THE AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POPULATION

07/01/1997

The age distribution of the population has changed substantially during the period under examination as the "baby boom" generation has aged. Since the proportion of households on AFDC varies by the age of household head, we developed variables to capture the effects of population age distribution changes on AFDC participation. These variables also capture the effects of population growth. For each program (Basic and UP), we developed three "expected participation" variables -- one each for caseloads, total recipients, and child recipients. Construction of these variables is discussed in Section C.1, below.

A second, related, issue is that some explanatory variables in the model can be expected to change with changes in the age distribution (e.g., the unemployment rate), but such changes would not be expected to have an impact on AFDC participation -- although they might be associated with changes in participation because AFDC participation is affected by changes in the age distribution. When feasible, we adjusted such variables to remove the effect of age distribution changes. We describe the construction of the adjusted variables in Section C.2.