This demonstration determined the impact of New Hampshire’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program on caseload. It used various models to estimate the effect of variables on caseload including policy reforms and the economy. The welfare caseload reached a maximum of 11,152 cases in March of 1994. The reforms appear to have resulted in a significant reduction in caseload. For models that are most plausible, welfare reform is estimated to reduce the monthly caseload between 850 and 1,600 cases when the monthly data is used. When quarterly data that are purged of child-only cases are used, the estimated reduction is greater – about 2,000 cases. The economy also played a major role in reducing the size of the caseload. The welfare reforms were implemented during a period of sustained prosperity in New Hampshire. The models indicate that the strong economy reduced the caseload by about 2,000 cases in the first three years of welfare reform – about the same size impact as the reforms themselves. The statistical models did not do as well in explaining the changes in the child-only caseload. The caseload modeling efforts undertaken for this project have not provided a convincing story on the behavior of the child-only caseload in recent years. The authors noted that these findings are highly sensitive to certain model specifications and that one should not expect great precision from caseload modeling efforts.
PIC ID: 6828; Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation; Federal Contact: Sternbach, Leonard, 415-437-7671; Performer: New Hampshire DHHS, Concord, NH