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Work, Earnings, and Well-Being after Welfare: What Do We Know?

Listed author(s):
  • Maria Cancian
  • Robert Haveman
  • Thomas Kaplan
  • Daniel Meyer

The rapid reduction in Aid to Families with Dependent Children caseloads during its last two years, and the continued decline of participation following its replacement by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, raise the question of how families who no longer receive cash assistance are faring. What are their economic circumstances? Are they better off after leaving the program than they were as recipients? How many of the mothers are working, and how much do they earn? Do they and their families continue to rely on other, in-kind assistance programs? If so, which ones? In this paper, we present evidence on the economic fate of single mothers who have left the welfare rolls. We summarize the results of earlier studies and then present findings from three approaches to this topic, one using national survey data, another using administrative data, and a few recent studies that use geographically targeted surveys. We conclude that reliance on administrative data provides the best option for evaluating the impacts of reform in the near future. We also recognize the limitations of these data and the need for survey data to supplement their findings.

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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 73.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 1999
Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:73
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