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he Impact of a Continuous Participation Obligation in a Welfare Employment Program


  • Daniel Friedlander
  • Gayle Hamilton


We present results from a special federal demonstration funded to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of imposing on able-bodied welfare recipients a universal and ongoing obligation to work or to participate in activities intended to lead to work. Using a classical random assignment research design, we find that the program increased employment and reduced welfare receipt. Over five years, reductions in welfare payments to the research sample amounted to 11 percent for single-parent welfare families and 9 percent for two-parent welfare families, reductions which accrued as savings to taxpayers. The extra earnings income from increased employment did not exceed the loss in welfare income, however, leaving those in the program no better off financially.

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  • Daniel Friedlander & Gayle Hamilton, 1996. "he Impact of a Continuous Participation Obligation in a Welfare Employment Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 734-756.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:31:y:1996:i:4:p:734-756

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-452, June.
    2. O'Regan, Katherine M. & Quigley, John M., 1991. "Labor market access and labor market outcomes for urban youth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 277-293, July.
    3. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Mary Corcoran & Roger Gordon & Deborah Laren & Gary Solon, 1992. "The Association between Men's Economic Status and Their Family and Community Origins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(4), pages 575-601.
    5. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-1418, December.
    6. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Economic Determinants of Geographic and Individual Variation in the Labor Market Position of Young Persons," NBER Chapters,in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 115-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ihlanfeldt Keith R., 1993. "Intra-urban Job Accessibility and Hispanic Youth Employment Rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 254-271, March.
    8. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-991, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Valero-Gil, 2002. "Past labor force experience and heterogeneity," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 75-89, September.
    2. Peter Dolton; & Donal O'Neill, 1997. "The Long-Run Effects of Unemployment Monitoring and Work-Search Programs: Some Experimental Evidence from the U.K," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n710897, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.

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