Performance Improvement 2005. What Works Best for Whom: Effects of Welfare and Work Policies by Subgroup


This study examined the effects of welfare and work policies on earnings, welfare benefits, income, stable employment, and stable welfare exits across a range of subgroups, using information from random-assignment studies of 26 welfare and work policies that had been studied by Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. The study examined subgroups of single-parent families based on a number of characteristics, including educational attainment; work and welfare history; race, ethnicity, and sex; number and age of children; barriers to work because of child care, transportation, and health or emotional problems; preference for work over welfare; parental concerns about leaving family for work; depression and feeling of mastery over life circumstances; and level of disadvantage. Major findings included: (1) Job search appears to be important for increasing employment and earnings. (2) Only earnings supplement programs consistently increased income. (3) In general, effects of the different types of programs on stable welfare exits were similar across subgroups. (4) Outcome-based performance indicators may be more indicative of impacts for more disadvantaged groups than for less disadvantaged groups.

PIC ID: 7532; Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation; Federal Contact: Yaffe, Alan, 202-401-4537; Performer: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY

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