The Impact of Adolescence Employment on Welfare Participation Later in Life

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Mansour, Fady M.
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Middle Tennessee State University
This study is the first to employ welfare participation to investigate the impact of working during adolescence on outcomes later in life. I use National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) 1979 data to investigate the impact of the average hours worked from age 14 through 19 on both the welfare payment and the probability of welfare participation in the twenties and thirties of the respondents’ life. I use a variety of different model specifications, including instrumental variables and Heckman selection models, to check the robustness of the results. The study shows that working one extra full-time week per year for an average individual between the ages of 14 to 19 will reduce the probability of receiving welfare in the twenties by 2.6 (10.8%) percentage points and the welfare payment received in the twenties by 6.3% per year. This impact is generated mainly from the hours worked during the ages of 17, 18 and 19.
Adolescence employment, Welfare