Robert Paul Hartley
Columbia School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Avenue, Room 730, New York, NY 10027

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Data Visualizations

Hartley, Robert Paul,and Lamarche, Carlos. 2018. "Behavioral responses and welfare reform: Evidence from a randomized experiment." Labour Economics, 54: 135-151.
Do individuals work less in order to stay on welfare? Based on a randomized experiment that allows earnings to increase without losing benefits (up to the federal poverty line), the reform decreases earnings for those nearest the eligibility threshold. This negative effect could also represent the unobserved transaction costs of welfare participation at higher hours of work, which is only possible in the treatment group. A semiparametric quantile estimator shows that the negative effect in the upper earnings distribution goes away after controlling for potential differences from working while participating in welfare.


Hartley, Robert Paul, Lamarche, Carlos, and Ziliak, James P. 2017. "Welfare reform and the intergenerational transmission of dependence." Revision requested, Journal of Political Economy. [IZA Institute of Labor Economics Discussion Paper 10942]
Intergenerational correlations in mother-daughter welfare participation decrease after 1990s welfare reform, which seems to imply that daughters become more mobile out of welfare dependence. However, transmission of welfare participation defined more broadly (including food and disability assistance) does not decrease. The policy implication is that welfare reform disrupted intergenerational welfare participation without improving economic mobility for low-income families.