Better Off Welfare

Studies | Welfare

No. 255
Monday, October 07, 2002
by Joe Barnett


Notes

  1. Many states had begun implementing reforms as early as 1993, using federal waivers from AFDC program requirements. One of the earliest and best-known reform efforts was in Wisconsin, under the leadership of then governor and current U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
  2. The Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act, H.R. 4737, passed the House on May 16, 2002.
  3. For example, "Because relatively little attention was paid to welfare leavers in the past, there are no directly comparably [sic] figures from before welfare reform." Elizabeth Lower-Basch, "'Leavers' and Diversion Studies: Preliminary Analysis of Racial Differences in Caseload Trends and Leaver Outcomes," rev. December 2000, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, page 7.
  4. See Thomas Corbett, "The New Face of Welfare; From Income Transfers to Social Assistance?" Focus, Vol. 22, No. 1, Special Issue 2002, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, page 5.
  5. The Work, Opportunity, and Responsibility for Kids Act was approved by the Senate Finance Committee in June 2002. Action on the bill by the full Senate was pending as of September 16, 2002.
  6. Robert Rector, "The Bacus 'WORK' Act of 2002: Repealing Welfare Reform," Backgrounder No. 1580, September 3, 2002, Heritage Foundation.
  7. June E. O'Neill and M. Anne Hill, "Gaining Ground: Women, Welfare and Work," NCPA Policy Report No. 251, February 2002, National Center for Policy Analysis.
  8. Welfare receipt peaked in 1994, and some states began implementing federal government waivers soon thereafter.
  9. Kenneth Finegold and Sarah Staveteig, "Race, Ethnicity, and Welfare Reform," in Alan Weil and Kenneth Finegold, eds., Welfare Reform: The Next Act (Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press, 2002), pages 205-06.
  10. Pamela J. Loprest, "How Are Families Who Left Welfare Doing Over Time? A Comparison of Two Cohorts of Welfare Leavers," Economic Policy Review, September 2001, page 11, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Author's calculations, based on "Adult TANF Client Demographics" for 1997, 1998 and 2002, Texas Department of Human Resources, and Deanna Schexnayder et al., Texas Families in Transition, January 2002, Texas Department of Human Services, Appendix A, Tables A-4 and A-5, pages A-18 to A-22.
  12. Robert Moffit et al., "The Characteristics of Families Remaining on Welfare," Policy Brief 02-2, March 2002, Welfare, Children, and Families Study, Johns Hopkins University, Table 1, page 2.
  13. LaDonna A. Pavetti, Urban Institute, "Time on Welfare and Welfare Dependency," Statement to the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means, May 23, 1996.
  14. Pavetti, "Time on Welfare and Welfare Dependency."
  15. Pamela J. Loprest, "Making the Transition from Welfare to Work: Successes but Continuing Concerns," in Weil and Finegold, eds., Welfare Reform: the Next Act, page 23.
  16. Pavetti, "Time on Welfare and Welfare Dependency."
  17. Loprest, "Making the Transition from Welfare to Work," page 23.
  18. "Long-term" in this study was defined as 21 months or more during the five-year period. See Robert A. Moffit and David W. Stevens, "Changing Caseloads: Macro Influences and Micro Composition," Economic Policy Review, September 2001, pages 43-44, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  19. Sammis B. White and Lori A. Geddes, "Disappearing Wisconsin Welfare Recipients: Where Did They Go?" WPRI Report, Vol. 14, No. 9, December 2001, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, page 4.
  20. Pavetti, "Time on Welfare and Welfare Dependency."
  21. Loprest, "How Are Families Who Left Welfare Doing over Time?" page 13.
  22. Robert E. Crew Jr., Steve McDonald and Johnny Johnson, "Following WAGES Clients Over Time," September 2000, College of Social Sciences, Florida State University, pages 1-17.
  23. The category nonwhite includes both African-Americans and Hispanics, who may be of any race. The study separately tallied results by primary language and, unsurprisingly, non-English speakers had lower rates of employment.
  24. Robert E. Crew Jr. et al., "Tracking the Outcomes of Welfare Reform in Florida for Three Groups of People," October 2000, College of Social Sciences, Florida State University, Table 4, page 14.
  25. Gregory Acs, Pamela Loprest and Tracy Roberts, Final Synthesis Report of Findings from ASPE's "Leavers" Grants, December 2001, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Table III-11.
  26. Acs, Loprest and Roberts, Final Synthesis Report of Findings from ASPE's "Leavers" Grants, Chapter 3, "Cross-State Findings on Employment and Earnings."
  27. Press Release, "Characteristics of Recent Welfare Population Dispel Some but Not All Concerns as Time Limits Approach," April 27, 2001, Urban Institute.
  28. Moffit et al., "The Characteristics of Families Remaining on Welfare."
  29. Crew Jr. et al., "Tracking the Outcomes of Welfare Reform in Florida for Three Groups of People," Table 4, page 14.
  30. Jacqueline Kauff, Thomas Fraker and Julita Milliner-Waddell, "Iowa Families That Left Welfare: How Are They Faring Two Years Later?" 2002, Mathematica Policy Research.
  31. Acs, Loprest and Roberts, Final Synthesis Report of Findings from ASPE's "Leavers" Grants, Chapter 3.
  32. Pavetti, "Time on Welfare and Welfare Dependency."
  33. Loprest, "Making the Transition from Welfare to Work," page 23.
  34. Kauff, Fraker and Milliner-Waddell, "Iowa Families That Left Welfare."
  35. Charles Lieberman and David C. Mancuso, "Are California's Welfare Leavers Staying Off Public Assistance? Welfare Recidivism and Use of Non-Cash Aid Since Welfare Reform," California Policy Review, October 2001, SPHERE Institute, page 4.
  36. Joe Barnett, "Welfare Reform: Reasons to Stay the Course," Brief Analysis No. 401, June 24, 2002, National Center for Policy Analysis.
  37. Crew, McDonald and Johnson, "Following WAGES Clients Over Time," page 18.
  38. "Welfare to Work: What Have We Learned?" April 2002, Joyce Foundation.
  39. Crew, McDonald and Johnson, "Following WAGES Clients Over Time," page 18.
  40. O'Neill and Hill, "Gaining Ground."
  41. Michael J. New, "Welfare Reform That Works: Explaining the Welfare Caseload Decline, 1996-2000," May 7, 2002, Cato Institute, Executive Summary.
  42. For example, the extensive appeals process set up by New York state is a problem in New York City. See Jo Anne Barnhart, Deborah Chassman and Sandie Hoback, "Moving from Full Engagement to Full Employment: A Program Review of New York City's Welfare Reform," November 5, 2001, American Institute for Full Employment, pages 14-15.
  43. Robert E. Rector and Sarah E. Youssef, "The Determinants of Welfare Caseload Decline," CDA99-04, May 11, 1999, Center for Data Analysis, Heritage Foundation.
  44. Asked why their cases were closed, the majority of Arizona respondents of all races said they got a job or a better job - 63.8 percent of African-Americans, 60 percent of Native Americans, 55.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 52.9 percent of Hispanics. In Washington state, two-thirds of both whites and nonwhites said that increased income through employment was their primary reason for leaving welfare. This reason was cited far more frequently than the second most prevalent, which was that their income from other sources had increased. Elizabeth Lower-Basch, "'Leavers' and Diversion Studies," page 7.
  45. Douglas J. Besharov and Peter Germanis, "Welfare Reform After Five Years," Policyforum No. 1, October 2001, page 10, Acton Institute.
  46. Jason Turner, "Don't Let California and New York Undermine Welfare Reform's Work Requirements," Executive Memorandum No. 819, June 13, 2002, Heritage Foundation.
  47. Thomas E. MaCurdy, David C. Mancuso and Margaret O'Brien-Strain, "Does California's Welfare Policy Explain the Slower Decline of Its Caseload?" 2002, Public Policy Institute of California; summarized in "What Accounts for Recent Declines in Welfare Caseloads?" Research Brief Issue No. 53, January 2002, PPIC.
  48. "Characteristics of Recent Welfare Population Dispel Some but Not All Concerns as Time Limits Approach," Urban Institute.
  49. Calculations by Devon Herrick, NCPA research manager, based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data.

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