The data used in this paper come from the Youth in Focus Project, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs, and the Australian Research Council (Grant Number LP0347164). This project is undertaken by the Australian National University. The authors are grateful for helpful comments received from three referees. The authors are responsible for all errors or omissions.
Taking Chances: The Effect that Growing Up on Welfare Has on the Risky Behavior of Young People*
Version of Record online: 8 MAY 2012
© The editors of The Scandinavian Journal of Economics 2012.
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Volume 114, Issue 3, pages 729–755, September 2012
How to Cite
Cobb-Clark, D. A., Ryan, C. and Sartbayeva, A. (2012), Taking Chances: The Effect that Growing Up on Welfare Has on the Risky Behavior of Young People*. The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 114: 729–755. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9442.2012.01704.x
- Issue online: 22 AUG 2012
- Version of Record online: 8 MAY 2012
- First version submitted June 2009;, final version received October 2010.
- Intergenerational effects;
- social and health risks;
- socio-economic disadvantage;
- welfare receipt
In this paper, we analyze the effect that growing up in a family with a history of welfare receipt has on young people's engagement in a variety of social and health risks. Unique administrative data matched to survey data for 18-year-olds and their mothers allow us to evaluate the effect of welfare receipt over the course of a young person's childhood. Much of the apparent link between family welfare history and risk taking disappears once we control for the effects of family structure, mothers’ own risk taking, and mothers’ investments in their children. We find no evidence that growing up on welfare causes young people to engage in risky behavior.