Drug Use and Afdc Participation: Is There a Connection?

34 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 1999 Last revised: 1 Oct 2010

See all articles by Robert Kaestner

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 1996


Drug use and welfare are two serious social problems that have received widespread public attention. Recently, it has been suggested that illicit drug use is a major cause of welfare, although there is only anecdotal evidence to support such a claim. This paper provides the first systematic analysis of the issue by examining the relationship between illicit drug use and welfare participation among a nationally representative sample of young adults. The results indicate that past year drug use, predominantly marijuana use, is positively related to future welfare participation for both non-black and black women. The magnitude of the drug effect, however, is modest: if drug use among welfare participants was reduced to the levels of non-participants, welfare participation would decline by approximately one percent.

Suggested Citation

Kaestner, Robert, Drug Use and Afdc Participation: Is There a Connection? (April 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5555, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4911

Robert Kaestner (Contact Author)

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