The effect of economic stability on family stability among welfare recipients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main rationale for defining two-parent families eligible for welfare was to keep families intact by eliminating an incentive for union dissolution. But there are other reasons for family instability, most notably women's reduced economic gain from marriage associated with having a chronically unemployed husband. This article explores the hypothesis that husband's unemployment increases union dissolution among welfare recipients. The analysis uses data from California's Link-Up demonstration project. A discrete-time event-history methodology was employed to examine family instability. The findings show that husband's unemployment and the family's long-term welfare dependency lead to breakup, net of race, age, and number of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-240
Number of pages18
JournalEvaluation Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • AFDC
  • Divorce
  • Link-
  • Poverty
  • Up
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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