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Lessons of United States welfare reforms for Australian social policy

  • Matthew Gray

    (Australian National University)

  • David Stanton

    (Australian Institute of Family Studies)

Recent developments in policies towards lone parents in Australia have emphasised the role of employment in increasing income and self- sufficiency. The emphasis on employment is also the case in other OECD countries with a general trend towards benefits for lone parents being made dependent on participation in the labour market. The United States of America has undertaken substantial reforms over the 1990s to the ways in which social assistance is provided to lone parents. Following the reforms there has been a dramatic fall in the number of lone-mother families receiving welfare payments and increases in employment rates. This paper reviews the evidence on the impact of the United States welfare reforms on a wide range of outcomes in America and considers the implications for welfare reform in Australia. The importance of differences in Australian institutions, particularly the labour market and income support systems, are highlighted.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/othr/papers/0405/0405002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Others with number 0405002.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 14 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0405002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 32
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Gary Burtless, 2001. "Can Supply-Side Policies Reduce Unemployment? Lessons from North America," CEPR Discussion Papers 440, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Sandra K. Danziger & Sheldon Danziger & Kristin Seefeldt & Jane Waldfogel, 2001. "Welfare Reform and Lone Mothers Employment in the US," CASE Papers case47, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  3. Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Papers 00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  4. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 291-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barrett, Garry F, 2002. "The Dynamics of Participation in the Sole Parent Pension," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(240), pages 1-17, March.
  6. David Ingles, 1998. "Overcoming Anomalies in the Interaction of Tax and Social Security," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 31(3), pages 271-280.
  7. Sheldon Danziger & Colleen M. Heflin & Mary Corcoran & Elizabeth Oltmans, 2002. "Does it Pay to Move from Welfare to Work?," JCPR Working Papers 254, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  8. Michael Keating & Simon Lambert, 1998. "Improving Incentives: Changing the Interface of Tax and Social Security," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 31(3), pages 281-289.
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