A Synthesis of Random Assignment Benefit-Cost Studies of Welfare-to-Work Programs
Over the past two decades, federal and state policymakers have dramatically reshaped the nations system of cash welfare assistance for low-income families. During this period, there has been considerable variation from state to state in approaches to welfare reform, which are often collectively referred to as welfare-to-work programs. This article synthesizes an extraordinary body of evidence: results from 28 benefit-cost studies of welfare-to-work programs based on random assignment evaluation designs. Each of the 28 programs can be viewed as a test of one of six types of welfare reform approaches: mandatory work experience programs, mandatory job-search-first programs, mandatory education-first programs, mandatory mixed-initial-activity programs, earnings supplement programs, and time-limit-mix programs. After describing how benefit-cost studies of welfare-to-work programs are conducted and considering some limitations of these studies, the synthesis addresses such questions as: Which welfare reform program approaches yield a positive return on investments made, from the perspective of program participants and from the perspective of government budgets, and the perspective of society as a whole? Which approaches make program participants better off financially? In which approaches do benefits exceed costs from the governments point of view? The last two of these questions coincide with the trade-off between reducing dependency on government benefits and ensuring adequate incomes for low-income families. Because the benefit-cost studies examined program effects from the distinct perspectives of government budgets and participants incomes separately, they address this trade-off directly. The article thus uses benefit-cost findings to aid in assessing the often complex trade-offs associated with balancing the desire to ensure the poor of adequate incomes and yet encourage self-sufficiency.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 1 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jbca|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:jbcacn:v:1:y:2010:i:1:n:3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.