Theses Doctoral

Three Papers on Impacts of Regulatory Policies on Well-being of Vulnerable Populations

Wang, Julia Shu-Huah

This dissertation investigated the impacts of regulatory policies on well-being of immigrant families and low-income families, which offers evidence for policymakers to evaluate the necessity of employing harsh measures. In the first paper, I used the nationally representative National Health Interview Survey (2000-2012) to study the health and mental health impacts of local immigration enforcement policies, under Section 287(g) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and the Secure Communities Program. I found some evidence of local immigration enforcement policies negatively impacting the mental health and self-rated health of Latino immigrants. In the second paper, I explored relationships between participation in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and parental investments in children, and how stringencies in state TANF policy requirements impacted the relationships. I used the 2004 and 2008 panels of Survey on Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and found that TANF participation was associated with increased family meal times and decreased incidences of family outings and reading time. TANF participation was not associated with other areas of parenting (e.g., extracurricular activity participation, family rules on watching TV, positive parenting, parenting stress, and parental expectation). Also, stringent state TANF policy characteristics were not associated with negative parenting behaviors. In the last paper, I investigated how the stringencies of state TANF policy were associated with single mothers’ long-term trajectories of welfare use, labor supply, and earned income. I used the 1996, 2001, and 2004 panels of SIPP data (1996-2007), covering the decade following TANF implementation. Findings indicated that stringent state TANF policies were strongly related to single mothers’ lower likelihood to participate in TANF; however, single mothers used other welfare programs (e.g., SNAP and SSI) to the same extent as single mothers living in states with less stringent TANF policies. Also, stringent policies did not lead to higher levels of labor supply or earned income.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Kaushal, Neeraj
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 27, 2016