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Rich DemocraciesPolitical Economy, Public Policy, and Performance$
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Harold Wilensky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231764

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231764.001.0001

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The American Welfare Mess in Comparative Perspective

The American Welfare Mess in Comparative Perspective

Chapter:
(p.291) 8 The American Welfare Mess in Comparative Perspective
Source:
Rich Democracies
Author(s):

HAROLD L. WILENSKY

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520231764.003.0008

This chapter examines the problems in the welfare system in the U.S. It argues that there is no evidence to support the American stereotype of an epidemic of young teenage sexuality, teenage pregnancy, and early parenthood and shows that welfare benefits in the U.S. are anything but generous. Cross-national comparisons reveal that the most powerful proximate causes of teenage pregnancy and birth rates are poverty, especially deep poverty, inequality, and great distance between the rich and the poor.

Keywords:   welfare system, U.S., teenage sexuality, teenage pregnancy, teenage parenthood, welfare benefits, poverty, inequality

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