Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Ann Marie Popp
family cap, welfare reform
Welfare reform has been a highly debated topic since before the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and continues to be at the forefront of many policy makers' agendas. Although significant positive changes have occurred in welfare policy since PRWORA's adoption, welfare costs remain unwieldy. This study aims to review the controversial family cap program, already implemented in various states, to determine if it would be a beneficial step to reducing Pennsylvania welfare costs. The following consists of a discussion of previous national and state-level family cap research in order to determine a framework for the economic, social, and ethical arguments associated with implementation. National data is then used to develop regression models testing the relationship between family caps, welfare spending, and fertility. Despite family cap proponents' claims that caps reduce welfare costs and birth rates for welfare recipients, my research shows that the anticipated benefits of family caps are generally inconclusive and largely affected by factors outside the control of the welfare program.
Barngrover, R. (2010). Family Cap Programs: The Future of Pennsylvania Welfare Reform (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/262