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The Short Term Impacts of Welfare Reform in Persistently Poor Rural Areas


  • Mark Harvey
  • Gene Summers
  • Kathleen Pickering
  • Patricia Richards


Using administrative data and in-depth interviews, this case study reports on the short-term impact of welfare reform in persistently poor rural areas of central Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Indian reservations in South Dakota. The regions' significant labor demand deficiencies call into question whether welfare reform policies will be as effective. A key finding is that in persistently poor rural areas, reform has made it more difficult for the poor to include public assistance, when necessary, as part of their household income basket. Resulting hardship has increased, but the hardship is not as extreme as some had predicted.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Harvey & Gene Summers & Kathleen Pickering & Patricia Richards, 2000. "The Short Term Impacts of Welfare Reform in Persistently Poor Rural Areas," JCPR Working Papers 191, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:191

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. O'Neill, June A & Bassi, Laurie J & Wolf, Douglas A, 1987. "The Duration of Welfare Spells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 241-248, May.
    2. James P. Miller & Herman Bluestone, 1988. "Prospects for Service Sector Employment Growth in Non-Metropolitan America," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 28-41, Winter.
    3. John M. Fitzgerald, 1995. "Local labor markets and local area effects on welfare duration," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 43-67.
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