Welfare policy: The administrative frontier

Lawrence M. Mead

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The process of national welfare reform has been overtaken by local reform as states implement experimental programs under federal waivers. Most of these initiatives attempt to enforce work or otherwise control the lives of the dependent in return for support. Research, which traditionally stressed the social and economic aspects of welfare or poverty, must be reoriented to address the administrative issues raised by the emerging paternalism. A combination of field interviewing and analyses of reporting data can track implementation and connect program operations to outcomes. Such research assesses program performance less definitively than experimental trials do but is more useful to operators and more relevant to current program goals. The frontiers of welfare research, like welfare policy, are institutional.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)587-600
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1996

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Business, Management and Accounting
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Public Administration


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