Design, Sites, and Data Sources
The MFIP evaluation included more than 14,000 welfare recipients and applicants, most of them single parents. Starting in 1994, each one was randomly assigned to MFIP, which made them eligible for the program’s services and benefits, or to Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the traditional welfare program. Because the two groups did not differ at the outset, any differences between them that later emerged can be attributed to MFIP.
MFIP was implemented in seven Minnesota counties, three of them urban (Anoka, Dakota, and Hennepin, which encompasses Minneapolis) and four of them rural (Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, and Todd).
The evaluation relied on data from myriad sources, including unemployment insurance records, public assistance benefit records, and client surveys.