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Welfare reform: the US experience

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  • Moffitt, Robert

    () (John Hopkins University)

Abstract

The reform of the cash-based welfare program for single mothers in the US which occurred in the 1990s was the most important since its inception in 1935. The reforms imposed credible and enforceable work requirements into the program for the first time, as well as establishing time limits on lifetime receipt. Research on the effects of the reform have shown it to have reduced the program caseload and governmental expenditures on the program. In addition, the reform has had generally positive average effects on employment, earnings, and income, and generally negative effects on poverty rates, although the gains are not evenly distributed across groups. A fraction of the affected group appears to have been made worse off by the reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Moffitt, Robert, 2008. "Welfare reform: the US experience," Working Paper Series 2008:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2008_013
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    File URL: http://www.ifau.se/upload/pdf/se/2008/wp08-13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey Grogger, 2004. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    2. Jeffrey Grogger & Steven J. Haider & Jacob Klerman, 2003. "Why Did the Welfare Rolls Fall During the 1990's? The Importance of Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 288-292, May.
    3. Jeffrey Grogger & Steven J. Haider & Jacob Klerman, 2003. "Why Did the Welfare Rolls Fall During the 1990's? The Importance of Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 288-292, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Todd, Jessica E. & Newman, Constance & Ver Ploeg, Michele, 2010. "Changing Participation in Food Assistance Programs Among Low-Income Children After Welfare Reform," Economic Research Report 58613, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Bruce Western & Deirdre Bloome & Benjamin Sosnaud & Laura M. Tach, 2016. "Trends in Income Insecurity Among U.S. Children, 1984–2010," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(2), pages 419-447, April.
    3. Lane Destro & David Brady, 2010. "Does European-Style Welfare Generosity Discourage Single Mother Employment?," LIS Working papers 548, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    4. Jane Waldfogel, 2007. "Welfare Reforms and Child Well-Being in the US and UK," CASE Papers case126, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare reform; Poverty; Single mothers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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