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The Impact of Welfare Reform on Leaver Characteristics, Employment and Recidivism: An Analysis of Maryland and Missouri

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Abstract

State and federal reforms of the 1990s transformed the U.S. cash assistance program for single parents and their children. Despite an extensive literature examining these changes and their impacts, there have been few studies that consider the effects of these reforms from the perspective of the recent period. The analysis here focuses on the characteristics and employment of welfare recipients in Maryland and Missouri, 1991-2004. We find that there has been only modest change in the observable characteristics of those entering, remaining on or leaving welfare, but the importance of employment has grown for each of these groups. We also examine the dynamics of employment and welfare recidivism, comparing cohorts of leavers prior to and after welfare reform. We find that after welfare reform leavers are much more likely to be working. Although in Maryland those working have earnings that are somewhat below employed leavers prior to reform, in Missouri earnings for employed leavers are unchanged. In both states, the types of jobs leavers hold have not changed substantially, and leavers are less likely to return to welfare following reform.

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File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2007/wp0720_mueser.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 0720.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: 15 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Review of Economic and Statistics
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0720

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Phone: (573) 882-0063
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Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/
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Keywords: welfare reform;

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  4. Dave M. O'Neill & June Ellenoff O'Neill, 1997. "Lessons for Welfare Reform: An Analysis of the AFDC Caseload and Past Welfare-to-Work Programs," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lwr.
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  24. Lane, Julia & Stevens, David, 1995. "Family, Work, and Welfare History: Work and Welfare Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 266-70, May.
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  27. V. J. Hotz & J. K. Scholz, . "Measuring Employment and Income for Low-Income Populations with Administrative and Survey Data," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1224-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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  29. Signe-Mary McKernan & Jen Bernstein & Lynne Fender, 2005. "Taming the beast: Categorizing state welfare policies: A typology of welfare policies affecting recipient job entry," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 443-460.
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