Performance Improvement 2011-2012. What Are the Benefit-to-Cost Ratios of Three Employment Retention And Advancement Programs?


Researchers analyzed the financial benefits and costs of three diverse Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project programs designed to increase employment stability and career advancement among current and former welfare recipients. The analysis focused on three programs in Corpus Christi and Fort Worth, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Riverside County, California. These programs were selected because comparisons between the program and control groups indicated that these programs increased individuals' employment and earnings –– the primary goal of the project.

Program group members were better off financially as a result of ERA. From the perspective of the government budget, Riverside program broke even, but the programs in Chicago and Texas did not produce net savings. All three programs produced financial gains for society as a whole. For every dollar that the government invested in these programs, program group members gained more than one dollar. This suggests that the three programs were cost-effective.

Report Title: Benefit-Cost Findings for Three Programs in the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442
Performer: MDRC
Record ID: 9820 (Report completed May 15, 2011)

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"PerformanceImprovement2011-2012.pdf" (pdf, 701.44Kb)

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