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Location and the Low Income Experience: Analyses of Program Dynamics in the Iowa Family Investment Program

  • Helen H. Jensen
  • Shao-Hsun Keng
  • Steven Garasky

In 1993, Iowa obtained a waiver to enact many of the key provisions of TANF in its welfare assistance and initiated the Iowa Family Investment Program (FIP). We use Iowa state administrative data for the period 1993-95 and study why some low-income households successfully leave public assistance while others who leave later return. We focus on those who were active in FIP at the time of the program reforms. The research explores the role of employment, earnings, and other support such as Food Stamps and child support for FIP leavers. Geographic (metro and nonmtero) differences are of specific interest. Reasons for recidivism are examined over time, with specific attention to local labor market conditions and factors that differentiate areas by degree of rural/metro location (various classifications). The analysis provides evidence on the effects of programmatic changes in Iowa's welfare programs. Among those active in FIP in all months of the two-year period, employment increased. Multivariate analysis of recidivism shows that during the first two quarters, those in nonmetro areas were more likely to return to FIP; however, after this initial period, the risk of return was very similar in the two areas. The analysis provides specific results for better understanding of the impact of recent reforms on low-income households in a state that is relatively rural.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 194.

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Date of creation: 26 Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:194
Contact details of provider: Postal: Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, 1155 E. 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637
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Web page: http://www.jcpr.org/wp/ByDate.html
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  1. G. Sandefur & S. Cook, . "Duration of Public Assistance Receipt: Is Welfare a Trap?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1129-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  2. Jill L. Findeis & Leif Jensen, 1998. "Employment Opportunities in Rural Areas: Implications for Poverty in a Changing Policy Environment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1000-1007.
  3. repec:mpr:mprres:1916 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. P. D. Brandon, . "Vulnerability to future dependence among former AFDC mothers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1055-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  5. Blank, Rebecca M & Ruggles, Patricia, 1994. "Short-Term Recidivism among Public-Assistance Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 49-53, May.
  6. 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 241-48, May.
  7. Davis, Elizabeth E. & Connolly, Laura S. & Weber, Bruce A., 1999. "Employment Outcomes For Low-Income Adults In Rural And Urban Labor Markets," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21624, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Shirley L. Porterfield, 1998. "On the Precipice of Reform: Welfare Spell Durations for Rural, Female-Headed Families," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 994-999.
  9. Stephan J. Goetz & David Freshwater, 1997. "Effects of Welfare Reform on Rural Counties and Labor Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1608-1613.
  10. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  11. Mairead Reidy & Lucy Mackey-Bilaver & Robert M. Goerge & Yizu Yeh & Bong Joo Lee, 1998. "The Dynamics of AFDC, Medicaid, and Food Stamps: A Preliminary Report," JCPR Working Papers 48, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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