STATE WELFARE-REFORM IMPACTS: CONTENT AND ENFORCEMENT EFFECTS
BRADLEY R. SCHILLER
"The continuing debate over the cause of the precipitous 1994-1998 decline in welfare caseloads is fueled by the ambiguity of evaluation results that attempt to disentangle cyclical and programmatic effects. One reason for this uncertainty is the lack of homogeneity across jurisdictions in the content, timing, and enforcement of welfare-reform parameters. This paper attempts to incorporate interjurisdictional variation in program content and enforcement into the standard evaluation model. The results suggest that state initiatives do reduce Aid for Families with Dependent Children caseloads but that all of the aggregate impact derives from a few "tough" provisions that limit welfare access. Variation in local enforcement of exemption and participation rules are also shown to have significant caseload effects. (JEL" 138) Copyright 1999 Western Economic Association International.
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