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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Moreno, Manuel H.; Hedderson, John; Lichter, Michael; González, Elizabeth; Henderson, Jeff
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    In this report, we present a preliminary analysis of the performance of CalWORKs in Los Angeles County. We are especially interested in how well the GAIN program moves families from welfare to employment and economic self-sufficiency. Although our work at this time is based on administrative records, we are beginning surveys and focus groups that will enable us to report on barriers to employment, support services and job satisfaction. In the first quarter of 1999, we will report on the best practices and obstacles to the success of CalWORKs. In the second quarter of 1999, we will address the broader impacts of CalWORKs on participants, their families and their communities. Although this first report is based on limited data, it provides important initial findings to be used as baseline statistics in later evaluations. (author abstract)

    In this report, we present a preliminary analysis of the performance of CalWORKs in Los Angeles County. We are especially interested in how well the GAIN program moves families from welfare to employment and economic self-sufficiency. Although our work at this time is based on administrative records, we are beginning surveys and focus groups that will enable us to report on barriers to employment, support services and job satisfaction. In the first quarter of 1999, we will report on the best practices and obstacles to the success of CalWORKs. In the second quarter of 1999, we will address the broader impacts of CalWORKs on participants, their families and their communities. Although this first report is based on limited data, it provides important initial findings to be used as baseline statistics in later evaluations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dehejia, Rajeev H.; Wahba, Sadek
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1999

    This article uses propensity score methods to estimate the treatment impact of the National Supported Work (NSW) Demonstration, a labor training program, on postintervention earnings. We use data from Lalonde's evaluation of nonexperimental methods that combine the treated units from a randomized evaluation of the NSW with nonexperimental comparison units drawn from survey datasets. We apply propensity score methods to this composite dataset and demonstrate that, relative to the estimators that Lalonde evaluates, propensity score estimates of the treatment impact are much closer to the experimental benchmark estimate. Propensity score methods assume that the variables associated with assignment to treatment are observed (referred to as ignorable treatment assignment, or selection on observables). Even under this assumption, it is difficult to control for differences between the treatment and comparison groups when they are dissimilar and when there are many preintervention variables. The estimated propensity score (the probability of assignment to treatment, conditional on...

    This article uses propensity score methods to estimate the treatment impact of the National Supported Work (NSW) Demonstration, a labor training program, on postintervention earnings. We use data from Lalonde's evaluation of nonexperimental methods that combine the treated units from a randomized evaluation of the NSW with nonexperimental comparison units drawn from survey datasets. We apply propensity score methods to this composite dataset and demonstrate that, relative to the estimators that Lalonde evaluates, propensity score estimates of the treatment impact are much closer to the experimental benchmark estimate. Propensity score methods assume that the variables associated with assignment to treatment are observed (referred to as ignorable treatment assignment, or selection on observables). Even under this assumption, it is difficult to control for differences between the treatment and comparison groups when they are dissimilar and when there are many preintervention variables. The estimated propensity score (the probability of assignment to treatment, conditional on preintervention variables) summarizes the preintervention variables. This offers a diagnostic on the comparability of the treatment and comparison groups, because one has only to compare the estimated propensity score across the two groups. We discuss several methods (such as stratification and matching) that use the propensity score to estimate the treatment impact. When the range of estimated propensity scores of the treatment and comparison groups overlap, these methods can estimate the treatment impact for the treatment group. A sensitivity analysis shows that our estimates are not sensitive to the specification of the estimated propensity score, but are sensitive to the assumption of selection on observables. We conclude that when the treatment and comparison groups overlap, and when the variables determining assignment to treatment are observed, these methods provide a means to estimate the treatment impact. Even though propensity score methods are not always applicable, they offer a diagnostic on the quality of nonexperimental comparison groups in terms of observable preintervention variables. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: McIntire, James L.; Robins, Amy F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This study was undertaken in an effort to assess the impacts of recent policy, organizational, and technology changes on the delivery of employment services to welfare recipients. The study examines five of the most developed and promising One-Stop Job Centers around the country to find out what makes them work well, and to understand their potential for moving people from welfare to self-sufficiency. This study does not provide a formal evaluation of these model programs, but identifies those approaches and practices that seem to be working well in different locations. (author abstract)

    This study was undertaken in an effort to assess the impacts of recent policy, organizational, and technology changes on the delivery of employment services to welfare recipients. The study examines five of the most developed and promising One-Stop Job Centers around the country to find out what makes them work well, and to understand their potential for moving people from welfare to self-sufficiency. This study does not provide a formal evaluation of these model programs, but identifies those approaches and practices that seem to be working well in different locations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Perez-Johnson, Irma; Hershey, Alan M.
    Year: 1999

    Recent federal policy actions have supported increased efforts to move welfare recipients and other low­-income Americans into sustained employment.  In 1996, Congress enacted and the President signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which creates a work­-focused, time­-limited Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) authorized the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to distribute $3 billion in welfare-­to-­work (WtW) grants to states and local communities to promote job opportunities and employment preparation and retention for the hardest ­to ­employ recipients of TANF and for certain noncustodial parents of their children.  The law also instructed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of these WtW initiatives.

    This report responds to a congressional mandate for rapid findings on WtW program implementation.  Although the evaluation will extend through August 2002, early responses to a survey of...

    Recent federal policy actions have supported increased efforts to move welfare recipients and other low­-income Americans into sustained employment.  In 1996, Congress enacted and the President signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which creates a work­-focused, time­-limited Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) authorized the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to distribute $3 billion in welfare-­to-­work (WtW) grants to states and local communities to promote job opportunities and employment preparation and retention for the hardest ­to ­employ recipients of TANF and for certain noncustodial parents of their children.  The law also instructed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of these WtW initiatives.

    This report responds to a congressional mandate for rapid findings on WtW program implementation.  Although the evaluation will extend through August 2002, early responses to a survey of grantees conducted at the end of 1998 provide an outline of federally funded WtW programs and their initial start-­up experiences. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gilens, Martin
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1999

    Americans' opposition to welfare does not seem hard to understand. For one thing, the welfare state is widely viewed as a European invention, thoroughly at odds with Americans' preferences for small government, personal freedom, and individual responsibility. And of the many aspects of the welfare state, "welfare" itself - that is, cash benefits paid to the working-age, able-bodied poor- conflicts most flagrantly with Americans' beliefs that individuals should take responsibility for their own betterment and not rely on the government for support. Furthermore, Americans are thought to reject welfare for practical as well as principled reasons. As national economic growth has slowed over the past decades, it is said that middle-class Americans have increasingly resented paying taxes to support the able-bodied poor. For most Americans, then, interests and ideology point clearly in the same direction: welfare is a violation of America's cherished values and an unwelcome claim upon its economic resources.

    The purpose of this book is to subject these popular claims to empirical...

    Americans' opposition to welfare does not seem hard to understand. For one thing, the welfare state is widely viewed as a European invention, thoroughly at odds with Americans' preferences for small government, personal freedom, and individual responsibility. And of the many aspects of the welfare state, "welfare" itself - that is, cash benefits paid to the working-age, able-bodied poor- conflicts most flagrantly with Americans' beliefs that individuals should take responsibility for their own betterment and not rely on the government for support. Furthermore, Americans are thought to reject welfare for practical as well as principled reasons. As national economic growth has slowed over the past decades, it is said that middle-class Americans have increasingly resented paying taxes to support the able-bodied poor. For most Americans, then, interests and ideology point clearly in the same direction: welfare is a violation of America's cherished values and an unwelcome claim upon its economic resources.

    The purpose of this book is to subject these popular claims to empirical scrutiny. What I find, in a nutshell, is that much of what is widely believed about Americans' attitudes toward welfare is wrong. Despite their individualistic inclinations, Americans do not oppose the welfare state; in fact, they strongly support it. The American public consistently expresses a desire for more government effort, and higher levels of spending, for almost every aspect of the welfare state. Year after year, surveys show that most Americans think the government is not doing enough (or not spending enough) for education, health care, child care, the elderly, the homeless, and the poor. (Author Introduction)

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