Interim Status Report on Research on the Outcomes of Welfare Reform. Background


In its report for the FY 1999 Appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Conference Committee added $5 million to the Policy Research account in the Office of the Secretary and directed in its report that the funding was to study the outcomes of welfare reform:

“The conference agreement includes $5,000,000 for a study on the outcomes of welfare reform.  The conferees recommend that this study involve state­specific surveys and data sets, survey data on the impacts of state waiver programs, and administrative data such as Food Stamp, Social Security and Internal Revenue Service records.  The study should measure outcomes in both low and high economic growth areas of the country.  The conferees strongly urge the Department to submit its research plan to the National Academy of Sciences to provide guidance on research design and recommend further research.  The conferees further expect an interim report to be submitted to the Appropriations Committees within six months.” (H. Rept. 105-825, page 1291)

The following report has been prepared by the Office of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), in response to the requirement for an interim report.  Except where otherwise noted, this report discusses only the welfare outcomes research agenda supported by the $5 million targeted appropriation.  It does not attempt to address ASPE’s or the Department’s overall welfare research agenda, except to the extent that some projects were supported jointly by welfare outcomes funding and funds from other sources.