Welfare Reform in the US: Early Evidence of Impacts
In this paper, evidence on lessons that Australians might take from the experience of the United States in undertaking extensive welfare reform is presented as well as some insights into the difficulties in evaluating major policy shifts such as welfare reform. The experience of former welfare recipients in one state, Wisconsin, using detailed administrative data on two cohorts of former recipients is the focus of the discussion, augmented by analysis of related experiments in order to include child-well-being as an outcome. The reform clearly increased self sufficiency via an increase in work effort. Earnings and earnings inequality both increased over time. School-aged and younger children appear on average to not have been harmed and some may be better off. Alternatively, evidence suggests that some adolescents are worse off.
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Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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