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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs


The Impact of Welfare Reform on Marriage

Assistant Professor Dr. Cynthia Osborne attended the conference "Ten Years After: Evaluating the Long-Term Effects of Welfare Reform on Children, Families, Welfare, and Work." The conference was sponsored by the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, one of the regional poverty centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

At the conference, Dr. Osborne presented a co-written paper examining the effects of welfare and child support policies on marriage following a non marital birth. In their paper, Dr. Osborne and her colleagues argue that welfare generosity is associated with less marriage among new mothers, especially among mothers who live with their child's father. The papers findings imply that more generous welfare benefits may allow mothers to delay marriage until they are ready. Moreover, the findings highlight the huge "tax" that many women face, in terms of losing federal subsidies, upon marriage.

While in Kentucky, Dr. Osborne spoke to Stu Johnson of WEKU radio about her research on welfare reform.

Listen to interview


The Effects of Welfare and Child Support Policies on the Timing and Incidence of Marriage Following a Nonmarital Birth