Shrinking the Public Safety Net or Helping the Poor Play by the Rules? The Changes in the State-Level Policies That Affected Low-Income Families With Children in the Welfare Reform Era: 1994-2002

Yumiko Aratani, Hsien Hen Lu, J. Lawrence Aber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the claimed success of the 1996 Welfare Reform, little research using multivariate regression has examined changes in multiple public safety-net programs. Thus, we still do not know whether public safety-net programs for the poor have shrunk or increased nationwide, along with the sharp declines in cash assistance. Using state-level data between 1994 and 2002 and state fixed-effects model, this study examines changes in nine safety-net programs designed for low-income families with children along with decreases in support from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the results indicate that the decline in AFDC/TANF support was not associated with increases in support for the economic self-sufficiency of low-income families; safety-net programs for the poor shrunk during the 1996 reform. As there is an increasing need for an effective use of public dollars to assist the poor in the present recession, future researchers should turn their attention to the study of multiple safety-net policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-213
Number of pages25
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • antipoverty policies
  • low-income families with children
  • state fixed-effect model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management

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