Welfare Reform, Living Arrangements, and Economic Well-Being

Research Report

Welfare Reform, Living Arrangements, and Economic Well-Being

A Synthesis of Literature


This synthesis of literature documents two interrelated areas related to welfare reform: (1) how welfare reform policies affect household structure and (2) how household structure in turn affects economic well-being. Studies on the effect of welfare reform on household structure find some suggestive evidence, but no strong compelling evidence that welfare reform has affected household structure. The literature on household structure and economic well-being finds that individuals living in married-couple households have the best economic situation, followed by individuals in cohabiting-couple households. Households headed by single mothers, who either live independently or double-up, have the lowest levels of economic well-being.

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