Study: Single mothers receiving public assistance more happy after welfare reform

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U.S. welfare and tax policies targeting single mothers were transformed over a decade ago. What was the impact on single mothers’ happiness? Using data from the General Social Survey, difference in difference estimators are calculated. According to a new study by John Ifcher, the results appear to indicate that the package of welfare and tax policy changes increased happiness. The results are largely consistent across three comparison groups and robust to various specification checks. This research nicely complements the literature by examining the impact of the welfare and tax policy changes on a novel outcome measure, self-reported happiness.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.