Evaluating Two Approaches to Case Management: Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of the Columbus Welfare-to-Work Program. Impacts on Combined Income

06/01/2001

The earnings gains produced by the Columbus programs did not exceed the public assistance losses, thus providing no gain in average "combined income." As discussed in a previous NEWWS Evaluation report, there are several ways to measure a program's effect on sample members' economic self-sufficiency; one way is to examine sample members' average combined income from earnings, AFDC, and Food Stamps.(12) This income measure does not include estimates of the Earned Income Credit, a credit against federal income taxes for low-income taxpayers. Over three years, the Columbus integrated program reduced Food Stamp payments by $697, and the traditional program reduced Food Stamp payments by $483 (these numbers are not presented in a table).(13) During the three years following random assignment, control group members received on average $25,490 from earnings, AFDC, and Food Stamps. Integrated group members received $24,895 ($595, or 2 percent, less), and traditional group members received $25,192 ($298, or 1 percent, less). These small decreases in average combined income are not statistically significant.