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Self-Reliance Before the Welfare State: Evidence from the Charity Organization Movement in the United States




If replacing welfare with private charity has increased the self-reliance of the poor, the benefits would be observed in the charity organization movement of the late nineteenth century. Inebriation would subside, the heart would be cheered, earnings would rise, the “broken†would be “complete,†dependence would wither, and the classes would converge. If the benefits were large, they would have been large in Indianapolis—the beacon of charity in a Coasean landscape. The hypotheses are tested in hazard models using a sample from 25 years of household-level caseworker manuscripts. The evidence is not suggestive in the direction of hope.

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  • Ziliak, Stephen T., 2004. "Self-Reliance Before the Welfare State: Evidence from the Charity Organization Movement in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 433-461, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:64:y:2004:i:02:p:433-461_00

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    1. Ziliak, Stephen T. & McCloskey, Deirdre N., 2004. "Significance redux," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 665-675, November.

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