Of course, our confidence in our counterfactual decomposition relies, to a large degree, on the success of our empirical model in fitting the historical data on work and welfare participation rates.
(19) They estimate that the two-year time limit reduced welfare participation rates among single mothers with youngest children ages 3 to 5 by 7.4 percentage points (from a base rate of 40.3 percent) during the first two years after the time limit was imposed.
Figure 6 reports welfare participation rates for eight large states.
The left-hand panels of figures 7 though 11 show how the welfare participation rates of single mothers vary with their demographic characteristics.
As the left-hand panels of figure 9 show, welfare participation rates have historically been much higher for black than for white single mothers.
In contrast, the next two columns of table 7 show that, according to our model, the drop in the welfare participation rate from 1993 to 2002 would have been 13.6 percentage points less if no states had implemented work requirements, and thus that work requirements accounted for 57 percent of the decline in welfare participation among single mothers from 1993 to 2002.
Interestingly, according to the model, from 1993 through 1997 the unemployment rate accounts for a 2.4-percentage-point drop in the welfare participation rate, which was 21 percent of the overall decline up until that time.
The bottom two panels of table 7 examine the determinants of the fall in the welfare participation rate separately by race.
The work participation rate for whites held stable at roughly 72 percent from 1980 to 1994, while that for blacks rose from 57.5 percent to 64.3 percent; these patterns roughly mirror those of the welfare participation rates for both races.
Welfare participation rates among elderly immigrants rose from 12.6 percent in 1980 to 14.6 percent in 1990, while elderly natives' welfare participation rates fell.
Much discussion in this paper has been devoted to the effect of age at migration on welfare participation rates. Whereas immigrants who immigrated after age 55 are up to 15 percentage points more likely than immigrants who came at younger ages to be on welfare once they become elderly, this group is still small.
An analysis of the 1990 Census sample shows that those who are institutionalized do not have different welfare participation rates from the noninstitutionalized.