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Barriers to the Employment of Welfare Recipients

Author

Listed:
  • Sandra K. Danziger
  • Mary Corcoran
  • Sheldon Danziger
  • Colleen M. Heflin
  • Ariel Kalil
  • Judith Levine
  • Daniel Rosen
  • Kristin S. Seefeldt
  • Kristine Siefert
  • Richard M. Tolman

Abstract

Using a new survey of a representative sample of single mothers who were welfare recipients in an urban Michigan county, the authors explore how certain employment barriers, often ignored by previous welfare researchers and policy makers, constrain these single mothers' employability. The results the authors present show that welfare recipients in the sample have unusually high levels of some barriers to work, such as physical and mental health problems, domestic violence, and lack of transportation, but relatively low levels of other barriers, such as drug or alcohol dependence and lack of understanding work norms. The authors also show that most recipients have multiple barriers and that the number of barriers is strongly and negatively associated with employment status. In addition, the authors find that an expanded regression model that includes these barriers is a significantly better predictor of employment than is a model that only includes variables traditionally measured, such as education, work experience and welfare history. The authors conclude with a discussion of the implications of these results for understanding the employment and post-welfare experiences of single mothers and for reforming welfare-to-work policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandra K. Danziger & Mary Corcoran & Sheldon Danziger & Colleen M. Heflin & Ariel Kalil & Judith Levine & Daniel Rosen & Kristin S. Seefeldt & Kristine Siefert & Richard M. Tolman, 1999. "Barriers to the Employment of Welfare Recipients," JCPR Working Papers 90, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:90
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. B. Wolfe & S. C. Hill, "undated". "The effect of health on the work effort of low-income single mothers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 979-92, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Daniel Immergluck, 1996. "What employers want: Job prospects for less-educated workers," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 135-143, June.
    3. Barbara L. Wolfe & Steven C. Hill, 1995. "The Effect of Health on the Work Effort of Single Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 42-62.
    4. J. P. Ziliak & D. N. Figlio & E. E. Davis & L. S. Connolly, "undated". "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or Economic Growth?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1151-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    5. H. J. Holzer, "undated". "Will Employers Hire Welfare Recipients? Recent Survey Evidence from Michigan," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1177-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kristen Shook Slack & Jane L. Holl & Bong Joo Lee & Marla McDaniel & Lisa Altenbernd & Amy Bush Stevens, 2003. "Child protective intervention in the context of welfare reform: The effects of work and welfare on maltreatment reports," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 517-536.
    2. Lawrence Katz & B. Jeffrey Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," Working Papers 820, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. David T. Ellwood, 2000. "Anti-Poverty Policy for Families in the Next Century: From Welfare to Work--and Worries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 187-198, Winter.
    4. Anu Rangarajan & Robert G. Wood, "undated". "Current and Former WFNJ Clients: How Are They Faring 30 Months Later?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1aa43616d73a4200bfdeca809, Mathematica Policy Research.
    5. Greg Duncan & P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, 2001. "Welfare Reform and Child Well-being," JCPR Working Papers 217, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. I. Ku & R. D. Plotnick, "undated". "Do Children from Welfare Families Obtain Less Education?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1217-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    7. Ong, Paul M. & Houston, Douglas & Horton, John & Shaw, Linda L, 2002. "Los Angeles County Calworks Transportation Needs Assessment," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt04861347, University of California Transportation Center.
    8. Mark Smith, 2005. "Childhood Abuse and Welfare Use," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 435-452, December.
    9. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654.
    10. Harry J. Holzer & Michael A. Stoll, 2003. "Employer Demand for Welfare Recipients by Race," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 210-241, January.
    11. B. L. Wolfe, "undated". "Incentives, Challenges, and Dilemmas of TANF," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1209-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.

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