The Effect of the 1996 Welfare Reforms
This article summarizes the welfare reform legislation passed in the summer of 1996, and discusses the expected state changes in public assistance programs that that legislation will produce. Four key research questions that the new law presents to social scientists are described: (1) Can the states design and operate better programs that AFDC? This includes questions about the ability of AFDC women to work a significant number of hours in the labor market; the effect of the legislation in areas of concentrated urban poverty; and the extent to which women will be able to improve the economic status of their families under the new legislation; (2) Will the jobs be available? (3) How will the new block grant affect states' fiscal situation? and (4) What new research methodology questions does this legislation introduce? .
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