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A Potential Case of Social Bankruptcy: States' AFDC Payments and Their Teen Birthrates

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Zimmerman, Shirley L. (University of Minnesota)
  • Gager, Constance (University of Minnesota)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • University of Minnesota. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station
Free Keywords
birth rates; public assistance programs; teenage pregnancies
  • Abstract

    These findings were based on a pooled time series analysis that covers a 30-year period at five different time-points: 1960, 1970, 1980, 1985, and 1990. This research examines the relationship between states' Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) payments and teen birthrates. Drawing on rational choice theories, the investigators expected the effects of states' AFDC payments on their teen birthrates to be positive, taking unemployment rates, racial composition, and poverty rates into account. The effects of states' AFDC payments were significant in a negative direction in Model 1, a random effects model. They also were significant in a negative direction in Model 2 when the effects of year were controlled for. However, when the effects of year and state in Model 3 were controlled for, they were not significant. The findings do not support assumptions regarding the incentive effects of welfare that underlie rational choice theories in states where teen birthrates are higher. If anything, teen birthrates are higher in states where AFDC payments are lower. Implications for policy and further research are discussed in relation to the positive effects of states' poverty and population change rates on the state teen birthrate problem.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Collection Mode
  • (1) The files submitted are teen2502.por, teencor2.sps, and teenreg5.sps, all in binary mode. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 1134 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Zimmerman, Shirley L., Gager, Constance T.. A potential case of social bankruptcy: States' AFDC payments and their teen birth rates. Policy Studies Journal.25, (1), 109-123.1997.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1541-0072.1997.tb00010.x (DOI)
  • Zimmerman, Shirley L.. Psychache in context: States' spending for public welfare and their suicide rates. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.183, (7), 425-434.1995.
    • ID: 10.1097/00005053-199507000-00002 (DOI)
  • Zimmerman, Shirley L.. The role of the state in family life: States' AFDC payments and divorce rates in the United States. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy.14, (1-2), 4-28.1994.
    • ID: 10.1108/eb013184 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Zimmerman, Shirley L.; Gager, Constance (1998): A Potential Case of Social Bankruptcy: States' AFDC Payments and Their Teen Birthrates. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.