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Welfare Reform and Lone Mothers Employment in the US

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  • Sandra K. Danziger
  • Sheldon Danziger
  • Kristin Seefeldt
  • Jane Waldfogel
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    Abstract

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 represents a dramatic change in the US welfare state. One of its key goals was to move lone mothers, even those with young children, from welfare to work. Early evidence suggests that, in concert with a strong economy, progress has been made - welfare caseloads have fallen dramatically and the employment rates of lone mothers have increased substantially. In addition to the federal reforms, state level welfare reforms played an important role prior to 1996 and are playing an even more important role subsequent to 1996 as PRWORA gives states unprecedented flexibility in designing and implementing their welfare systems. In this paper, we examine some key state-level reforms, using evidence from selected states, to illustrate the three major types of policies used in the US to move lone mothers from welfare to work: mandating work (Michigan); making work pay (Michigan and Minnesota); and helping families with child care (Illinois). We conclude that each of these policies has a role to play in moving lone mothers from welfare to work, but that further policies are needed if the US is to also to do a better job of reducing child poverty.

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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/CASEpaper47.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE in its series CASE Papers with number case47.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:case47

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    Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/default.asp

    Related research

    Keywords: welfare; lone mothers; employment;

    References

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    1. Signe-Mary McKernan & Robert I. Lerman & Nancy Pindus & Jesse Valente, 2000. "The Relationship between Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Locations, Changing Welfare Policies, and the Employment of Single Mothers," JCPR Working Papers 192, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    2. Sheldon H. Danziger (ed.), 1999. "Economic Conditions and Welfare Reform," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ecwr, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Matthew Gray & David Stanton, 2004. "Lessons of United States welfare reforms for Australian social policy," Others 0405002, EconWPA.
    2. Hélène Périvier-Timbeau, 2008. "Les femmes sur le marché du travail aux Etats-Unis," Sciences Po publications 2008-12, Sciences Po.
    3. Hélène Périvier, 2008. "Les femmes sur le marché du travail aux États-Unis," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    4. Hélène Périvier-Timbeau, 2007. "Les femmes sur le marché du travail aux Etats-Unis: une mise en perspective avec la France et la Suède," Sciences Po publications 2007-07, Sciences Po.
    5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/1203 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6142 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hélène Perivier, 2007. "Les femmes sur le marché du travail aux États-Unis - Une mise en perspective avec la France et la Suède," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-07, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

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