Optimizing JOBS: Evaluation Versus Administration

Lawrence M. Mead

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    How should government improve the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS), the employment program intended to move welfare recipients into work or training? JOBS is the nation's most ambitious effort at welfare reform, yet Washington has given local operators little guidance about how to run it. Lawrence Mead finds that one reason for this is a belief among federal officials and most experts that only experimental evaluations can tell us how to improve a program. He believes that JOBS can be improved using existing evaluations coupled with analyses of administrative data. He illustrates with his own research on Wisconsin, a state that has used JOBS to help drive its welfare rolls down. He concludes that federal officials could give local programs more guidance, but also that reform depends mostly on capable administration at the local level.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)113-123
    Number of pages11
    JournalPublic Administration Review
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1997

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Public Administration
    • Marketing


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