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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: Wu, Chi-Fang
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    Welfare sanctions have taken on greater significance under TANF because of their increased incidence and severity. Using Wisconsin longitudinal administrative data, this study applied event history analysis to the relationship between welfare sanctions and the economic well-being of TANF families with children. Specifically, it investigated whether this relationship varies by severity, timing, and duration of sanctions. The results indicate that families with children who are currently being sanctioned are at significantly increased risk of leaving welfare without a job. However, the different levels of and duration of current sanctions affect welfare exit and employment outcomes differently. That is, those families receiving a small sanction are significantly less likely to leave welfare regardless of post-welfare employment status, while the risk of leaving welfare without a job or with a lower earnings job increases with the severity and duration of the sanctions. Moreover, previous sanction experience appears to be significantly associated with an increased probability of...

    Welfare sanctions have taken on greater significance under TANF because of their increased incidence and severity. Using Wisconsin longitudinal administrative data, this study applied event history analysis to the relationship between welfare sanctions and the economic well-being of TANF families with children. Specifically, it investigated whether this relationship varies by severity, timing, and duration of sanctions. The results indicate that families with children who are currently being sanctioned are at significantly increased risk of leaving welfare without a job. However, the different levels of and duration of current sanctions affect welfare exit and employment outcomes differently. That is, those families receiving a small sanction are significantly less likely to leave welfare regardless of post-welfare employment status, while the risk of leaving welfare without a job or with a lower earnings job increases with the severity and duration of the sanctions. Moreover, previous sanction experience appears to be significantly associated with an increased probability of leaving welfare without a job or with a low-earnings job, suggesting that sanctions have lagged effects on employment outcomes. These findings have important implications for social work practice and policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Reichman, Nancy; Teitler, Julien; Curtis, Marah
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    This article estimates the effects of being sanctioned, that is, of being subject to a governmental decision to reduce or eliminate welfare benefits, on material hardships and health among mothers on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and their children. Compared to nonsanctioned mothers, those who are sanctioned are at high risk for hunger, homelessness or eviction, utility shutoffs, inadequate medical care, any material hardship, poor health, and relying on family or friends for housing. Results suggest a causal connection to hunger, utility shutoffs, any material hardship, poor maternal physical health, and relying on others for housing. (author abstract)

    This article estimates the effects of being sanctioned, that is, of being subject to a governmental decision to reduce or eliminate welfare benefits, on material hardships and health among mothers on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and their children. Compared to nonsanctioned mothers, those who are sanctioned are at high risk for hunger, homelessness or eviction, utility shutoffs, inadequate medical care, any material hardship, poor health, and relying on family or friends for housing. Results suggest a causal connection to hunger, utility shutoffs, any material hardship, poor maternal physical health, and relying on others for housing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lens, Vicki
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    Whether sanctions help women achieve self-sufficiency in the labor market is a subject of scholarly debate. Central to this discussion is how sanctions are being used on the front-lines of welfare, and how recipients are responding to them. This article reports the findings of the author’s empirical study of the sanctioning process in two regions in Texas: one primarily rural and the other urban/suburban. It examines how and when sanctions are imposed by local staff in welfare offices and what problems recipients encounter when they attempt to comply with the work rules and avoid sanctions. Using this and other empirical studies on sanctions, this article examines whether sanctions are helping poor women achieve self-sufficiency.

    Part I of this article discusses the history of work rules in public assistance programs. Part II examines the use of sanctions in welfare-to-work programs, drawing extensively on the empirical literature describing the rates of sanction, the characteristics of sanctioned families, and whether sanctions induce hardship. Part III reports on the...

    Whether sanctions help women achieve self-sufficiency in the labor market is a subject of scholarly debate. Central to this discussion is how sanctions are being used on the front-lines of welfare, and how recipients are responding to them. This article reports the findings of the author’s empirical study of the sanctioning process in two regions in Texas: one primarily rural and the other urban/suburban. It examines how and when sanctions are imposed by local staff in welfare offices and what problems recipients encounter when they attempt to comply with the work rules and avoid sanctions. Using this and other empirical studies on sanctions, this article examines whether sanctions are helping poor women achieve self-sufficiency.

    Part I of this article discusses the history of work rules in public assistance programs. Part II examines the use of sanctions in welfare-to-work programs, drawing extensively on the empirical literature describing the rates of sanction, the characteristics of sanctioned families, and whether sanctions induce hardship. Part III reports on the results of the study. Part IV evaluates whether sanctions are an appropriate tool for addressing the problem of poverty and welfare dependency among poor women and their families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fording, Richard; Schram, Sanford; Soss, Joe
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This article examines the effects of financial sanctions for noncompliance on the earnings of TANF clients. Current research on TANF sanctioning is descriptive, and few studies estimate the effect of sanctions on client outcomes. To estimate the casual effect of sanctioning, we utilize longitudinal data from Florida and a difference-in-difference propensity-score matching estimator. We compare the growth in earnings of sanctioned clients to a comparable sample of nonsanctioned clients four quarters after exiting TANF and find that sanctioning has a statistically significant negative effect on earnings among TANF clients. The effect is consistent across racial groups, larger among clients with at least 12 years of schooling, and generally increases with the frequency of sanctioning. The finding that sanctioned clients exhibit significantly lower growth in earnings than similar nonsanctioned clients suggests that sanctioning may serve to undermine TANF's goals of reducing welfare use and improving earnings in severely disadvantaged families. (author abstract)

    This article examines the effects of financial sanctions for noncompliance on the earnings of TANF clients. Current research on TANF sanctioning is descriptive, and few studies estimate the effect of sanctions on client outcomes. To estimate the casual effect of sanctioning, we utilize longitudinal data from Florida and a difference-in-difference propensity-score matching estimator. We compare the growth in earnings of sanctioned clients to a comparable sample of nonsanctioned clients four quarters after exiting TANF and find that sanctioning has a statistically significant negative effect on earnings among TANF clients. The effect is consistent across racial groups, larger among clients with at least 12 years of schooling, and generally increases with the frequency of sanctioning. The finding that sanctioned clients exhibit significantly lower growth in earnings than similar nonsanctioned clients suggests that sanctioning may serve to undermine TANF's goals of reducing welfare use and improving earnings in severely disadvantaged families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wu, Chi-Fang; Cancian, Maria ; Wallace, Geoffrey
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Using longitudinal administrative data for Wisconsin, this article accounts for the length of time on welfare and the length of sanctioning to better understand the effect of work-related financial sanctions on cash welfare (TANF) participants' program exits and subsequent employment. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) remains an important, if less generous, part of the safety net for families with children. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the time on welfare, duration of sanctions, and post-welfare employment and earnings outcomes. The results indicate that being sanctioned increases the likelihood of transition off TANF cash assistance and this effect increases with the duration of the sanction. In addition to measuring the effects of welfare sanctions on individual participants, the article also estimates the effects of agency sanction policies, using measures of the risk of sanctions at the agency level. Agency policy effects were of interest both because they addressed the potential effects of changes in the threat of sanctions - even on...

    Using longitudinal administrative data for Wisconsin, this article accounts for the length of time on welfare and the length of sanctioning to better understand the effect of work-related financial sanctions on cash welfare (TANF) participants' program exits and subsequent employment. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) remains an important, if less generous, part of the safety net for families with children. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the time on welfare, duration of sanctions, and post-welfare employment and earnings outcomes. The results indicate that being sanctioned increases the likelihood of transition off TANF cash assistance and this effect increases with the duration of the sanction. In addition to measuring the effects of welfare sanctions on individual participants, the article also estimates the effects of agency sanction policies, using measures of the risk of sanctions at the agency level. Agency policy effects were of interest both because they addressed the potential effects of changes in the threat of sanctions - even on those not directly subject to them - and because the agency effects were not subject to the same concerns about unobserved individual heterogeneity between sanctioned and non-sanctioned participants. We found that an increase in an agency's use of sanctions resulted in increased exits to no job, to jobs paying less than cash benefits, and to jobs paying more than available cash benefits. Our results have important implications for understanding the consequences of financial sanctions for public program participants. (author abstract)

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