In this commentary published by Spotlight on Poverty, MDRC President Gordon Berlin makes the case for creating a more flexible safety net that continues to reward work when jobs are plentiful, provides employment to poor families when jobs disappear, and begins to address the problem of stagnant wages at the low end of the labor market.
Using an alternative to classical statistics, this paper reanalyzes results from three published studies of interventions to increase employment and reduce welfare dependency. The analysis formally incorporates prior beliefs about the interventions, characterizing the results in terms of the distribution of possible effects, and generally confirms the earlier published findings.
Final Results of the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project and Selected Sites from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project
This policy brief, developed by the Urban Institute for the federal Administration for Children and Families, summarizes research on strategies that can increase TANF recipients’ and other low-income adults’ engagement and persistence in postsecondary education and training and boost their earnings.
This policy brief, developed by the Urban Institute for the federal Administration for Children and Families, describes how strategies have helped welfare recipients enter employment and increase their earnings. However, more remains to be learned about how best to substantially increase their self-sufficiency and financial well-being.
Lessons from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration in Public Housing
From the Jobs-Plus initiative, this report describes efforts to build participation among public housing residents in a program that offers services and financial incentives designed to promote work.
Building on findings that the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) resulted in higher rates of marital stability among two-parent recipient families who participated in this initiative that provided financial incentives to welfare recipients who worked, this report documents MFIP’s long-term effects on marriage and divorce among participants in the program’s sample of nearly 2,500 two-parent families who were married or cohabiting at study entry.
Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
Based on a comprehensive body of evidence, this report from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change examines how changes in Pennsylvania’s welfare reform policies combined with a strong regional economy in the late 1990s to create substantial change in the welfare system in Philadelphia.
The Role of Informal Care in the Lives of Low-Income Women and Children
Drawing on ethnographic interviews, this policy brief describes the patchwork child care arrangements made by low-income parents and discusses implications for policies that would promote the dual objectives of child well-being and parental employment.
Evidence from Connecticut and Minnesota
Using data from two random assignment welfare reform experiments, this report contributes insights to efforts to foster economic self-sufficiency in both the assisted housing and the welfare policy arenas.