Robert Paul Hartley

Food security and policy effects by family size: How does quality of well-being depend on quantity of children?

We investigate the intersection of family size, food security, and the efficacy of public benefits, especially with respect to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Food security literature pays scant attention to the role of number of children in a household – an important dimension for understanding family resource and food assistance adequacy in the context of child well-being.

Food security and poverty status across generations

The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on income mobility, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of material hardship. This study uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to provide the first point estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity.

Welfare reform and the intergenerational transmission of dependence

We estimate the effect of welfare reform on the intergenerational transmission of welfare participation and related economic outcomes using a long panel of mother-daughter pairs over the survey period 1968-2013 in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Because states implemented welfare reform at different times starting in 1992, the cross-state variation over time permits us to quasi-experimentally separate out the effect of mothers’ welfare participation during childhood on daughters’ economic outcomes in adulthood in the pre- and post-welfare reform periods.

Behavioral Responses and Welfare Reform: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Recent studies have used a distributional analysis of welfare reform experiments suggesting that some individuals reduce hours in order to opt into welfare, an example of behavioral-induced participation. Using data on Connecticut’s Jobs First experiment, we find no evidence of behavioral-induced participation at the highest conditional quantiles of earnings. We offer a simple explanation for this: women assigned to Jobs First incur welfare participation costs to labor supply at higher earnings where the control group is welfare ineligible.