Predicting Paternalism: Welfare Asset Limits And State-Level Demographic, Economic, And Political Factors

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leah Hamilton, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Welfare eligibility is usually determined via income and financial assets. Since devolution of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families administration in 1996, there is significant state variation in these criteria. Previous research suggests that income limits are influenced by racial politics, with more restrictive criteria associated with higher Black populations. The current study examined whether asset testing is similarly determined. Findings indicate that asset tests are positively associated with a democratic State Senate, median income, and the percentage of Black residents. The presence of advocates seeking to advance asset-building opportunities to low-income families may have influenced this divergence in income and asset testing.

Additional Information

Leah Hamilton, Peter R. Fawson & Taylor Dollar (2019): Predicting Paternalism: Welfare Asset Limits and State-Level Demographic, Economic, and Political Factors, Journal of Poverty, DOI: 10.1080/10875549.2019.1587658. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2019
Families in poverty, welfare reform, race

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