Interim Status Report on Research on the Outcomes of Welfare Reform. Research Uses of Emergency TANF Data Report


ASPE anticipates undertaking three related projects using the newly available source of welfare reform data collected through the Emergency TANF Data Report (ETDR):  (1) working with the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, to improve the collection, storage, and release of these data; (2) doing cross­sectional analyses using all data from all states; and (3) assessing the feasibility of creating a longitudinal database using data from individual states.  The first step would be to resolve the technical issues associated with cheaply storing and transferring the large amounts of data required for a comparative analysis of AFDC and TANF and then building an archive of TANF data for researchers.  Second, cross­sectional analyses would compare AFDC and TANF using a “before vs after” welfare reform notion, analyzing similarities and differences in the caseloads.  Finally, a single state with good data would be selected to explore the research potential of developing a longitudinal data set, preferably combined with additional linked data sets for more in­depth analyses.  Longitudinal analyses in this early phase of administrative data reporting would focus on short­term outcomes, including changes in work participation, child care use, Medicaid, and household composition (especially to child­only cases and conversion of two­parent to one­parent cases).  If successful, this feasibility work will lay the groundwork for more extensive creation of state longitudinal databases.