Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Michael Ahn

Second Advisor

Donna Haig Friedman


Between 1992 and 1998, 24 states including Massachusetts adopted provisions specifically designed to reduce the fertility rates of welfare recipients. These adopted measures became known as Family Caps. Under Family Cap, families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance would not receive increased aid for having another child. Proponents of this measure believe that by eliminating the financial incentive to have additional children, individuals on welfare would subsequently have smaller families. In this paper, I have used the most up-to-date TANF national data file to determine if an association between states with a family Cap provision and the number of children per TANF family exists. The results of this research show little if any correlation between states that use family Cap and the number of children those welfare recipients have.