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The Use of Profiling to Target Services in State Welfare-to-Work Programs: An Example of Process and Implementation




The purpose of this paper is to provide preliminary information about the design of a pilot project to test the efficacy of profiling and referring welfare-to-work participants. Welfare reform requires welfare recipients, with few exceptions, to participate in work activities and ultimately become economically self-sufficient. Welfare recipients possess a wide variation in job readiness skills, ranging from those who are ready and able to work to those who face significant barriers to employment. The challenge of the local administrator of welfare-to-work programs is to target services to those who need them the most. Yet, most programs provide the same services to all participants, regardless of their past work history or skills. Profiling is a management tool that statistically identifies individuals as to the probability that they will obtain employment. The probability is derived from a statistical model using information commonly collected at enrollment interviews. The model estimates the relationship between an individual's propensity to find and hold a job and that person's attributes, work and welfare histories, and local labor market conditions. The paper describes the model and shows how it can be incorporated into existing welfare-to-work programs that emphasize work-related activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall W. Eberts, 1997. "The Use of Profiling to Target Services in State Welfare-to-Work Programs: An Example of Process and Implementation," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 98-52, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:98-52
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    Cited by:

    1. Sidelmann, Peter & Bason, Christian & Köllner, Angela, 2001. "Früherkennung von Personen mit hohem Arbeitslosigkeitsrisiko : Ergebnisse einer EU-Studie (Early recognition of people with a high risk of unemployment : results of an EU study)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 34(4), pages 554-566.
    2. repec:iab:iabmit:v:34:i:4:p:554-566 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Randall W. Eberts & Christopher J. O'Leary & Stephen A. Wandner (ed.), 2002. "Targeting Employment Services," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number tes, November.
    4. Christian Durán, 2004. "Evaluación microeconométrica de las políticas públicas de empleo: aspectos metodológicos," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 170(3), pages 107-133, september.
    5. Jill Marie Gunderson & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2004. "Job separation behavior of welfare recipients: results from a unique case study," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    More about this item


    welfare-to-work; profiling; FDSS; Eberts; reemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers


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