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


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.