Approaches to Evaluating Welfare Reform: Lessons from Five State Demonstrations. Notes

10/01/1996

(1)The share of applicants that is twice-ineligible can often be approximated by calculating the share of applicants that has always been denied welfare benefits. If welfare reform eligibility rules are strictly broader than control group eligibility rules, then the cumulative denial rate for experimental applicants is a good estimate of the fraction of applicants that is twice-ineligible. If control group eligibility rules are strictly broader than welfare reform eligibility rules, then the cumulative denial rate for applicants in the control group is a good estimate of the fraction of applicants that is twice-ineligible. If one set of eligibility rules is not strictly broader than another, then the fraction of applicants that is twice-ineligible cannot be determined merely from cumulative denial rates.

(2)"UC DATA, "Assistance Payments Demonstration Project: Process Evaluation: Phase I," p.8.

(3)Statistically significant differences between the baseline characteristics of experimental and control cases will be easier to detect when the size of the research sample is larger.

(4)We distinguish this change in status from the situation, discussed in the last section as an example of spillover, of a case retaining its official status but receiving the other group's policies because of administrative error or manipulation. A change in a case's official experimental/control status (unlike spillover) should be readily apparent to the evaluator and will generate systematic changes in the policies applied to the case.