CATO released their Work Versus Welfare Trade-off 2013 study. Table 4 shows that in 8 states, welfare pays the equivalent of an average salary in those states in cash/in-kind goods.
Table 4 Pretax Wage Equivalents Compared to Median Salaries Rank Pretax Wage Median Percentage of Jurisdiction Equivalent ($) Salary ($) Median Salary (%) 1 Hawaii 60,590 36,275 167% 2 Vermont 42,350 34,029 124.5% 3 Massachusetts 50,540 42,723 118.3% ... 8 Conneticut 44,370 41,330 107.4% ...
Is a possible factor that could explain why the median wage is lower than the welfare wage in cash/in-kind goods, a correlations between "single" welfare moms collecting benefits while their live-in boyfriends collect a second salary?
It would probably be impossible to get good information on live in boyfriends, so I would be satisfied with a study that estimates the number of Head of households with 1 or more children in the states with/without better welfare benefits than the median salary.