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Grand Rapids

Getting a job is only half the battle: Maternal job loss and child classroom behavior in low-income families

Individual Author: 
Hill, Heather D.
Morris, Pamela A.
Castells, Nina
Walker, Jessica T.

This study uses data from an experimental employment program and instrumental variables (IV) estimation to examine the effects of maternal job loss on child classroom behavior. Random assignment to the treatment at one of three program sites is an exogenous predictor of employment patterns. Cross-site variation in treatment-control differences is used to identify the effects of employment levels and transitions. Under certain assumptions, this method controls for unobserved correlates of job loss and child well-being, as well as measurement error and simultaneity.

Effects of welfare and antipoverty programs on participants’ children

Individual Author: 
Duncan, Greg J.
Gennetian, Lisa
Morris, Pamela

This article contributes to the literature on parental self-sufficiency and child well-being in two ways. First, we bring a novel interdisciplinary perspective to formulating hypotheses about the pathways by which policy-induced changes in the environments in which children are embedded, both within and outside the home, facilitate or harm children’s development. These hypotheses help to organize the contradictory assertions regarding child impacts that have surrounded the debate over welfare reform.

Sustained employment and earnings growth: New experimental evidence on financial work incentives and pre-employment services

Individual Author: 
Michalopoulos, Charles

We know how to get low-income people to go to work: build a strong and growing economy filled with jobs, make work pay through generous tax credits and welfare programs that allow working people to keep more of their benefits, and implement programs with employment and training services and time-limited welfare benefits to encourage people to work. However, we know little about the types of policies that will help people stay employed and increase their earnings over time.

Putting it together: A guide to financing comprehensive services in child care and early education

Individual Author: 
Johnson-Staub, Christine

This guide aims to help states look beyond the major sources of child care and early education funding and consider alternative federal financing sources to bring comprehensive services into early childhood settings. Why? Because the sources of child care funding historically available to states have limited supply and allowable uses, and comprehensive services are critical to the success of children – especially those who are most at risk for developmental challenges and delays.

Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) demonstration: Evaluation findings for the proof-of-concept year

Individual Author: 
Collins, Ann M.
Briefel, Ronette
Klerman, Jacob A.
Bell, Stephen
Bellotti, Jeanne
Logan, Christopher W.
Gordon, Anne
Wolfe, Anne
Rowe, Gretchen
McLaughlin, Steven M.
Enver, Ayesha
Fernandes, Meena
Wolfson, Carrie
Komarovsky, Marina
Cabili, Charlotte
Owens, Cheryl

Children’s development, health, and well-being depend on access to a safe and secure source of food. In 2010, 8.0 million households with children were food insecure (one in five such households) and nearly half of these, 3.9 million, included children who were food insecure at times during the year (Coleman-Jensen et al., 2011). Nearly 8.5 million children lived in households with food-insecure children, and 1.0 million children lived in households with very low food security among children (VLFS-C).

Working with low-income cases: Lessons for the child support enforcement system from parents' fair share

Individual Author: 
Doolittle, Fred
Lynn, Suzanne

Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) research on child support enforcement has several goals. First, it seeks to provide insights into the interaction between local child support enforcement systems and noncustodial parents whose children are on welfare. The approach taken in this report is to analyze what happened when the seven sites in the PFS Demonstration sought to identify low-income, unemployed noncustodial parents appropriate for PFS and refer them to the program. The report carries this story up to the point of referral of appropriate noncustodial parents to the program.

The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies: Impacts on young children and their families two years after enrollment: Findings from the child outcomes study

Individual Author: 
Zaslow, Martha J.
McGroder, Sharon M.
Moore, Kristin A.

As we seek to understand the effects on families of the 1996 welfare reform law, we can build on the foundation of a rigorous evaluation study focusing on the effects on families of welfare-to-work programs implemented under the previous welfare law, the Family Support Act of 1988. The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (the NEWWS, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S.

Racial/ethnic differences in effects of welfare policies on early school readiness and later achievement

Individual Author: 
Yoshikawa, Hirokazu
Gassman-Pines, Anna
Morris, Pamela A.
Gennetian, Lisa A.
Godfrey, Erin B.

This study examined whether the effects of employment-based policies on children’s math and reading achievement differed for African American, Latino and Caucasian children of welfare receiving parents, and if so, why. Two kinds of employment policies were examined: education-first programs with an emphasis on adult education and job training; and work-first programs with an emphasis on immediate employment.

Do mandates matter? The effects of a mandate to enter a welfare-to-work program

Individual Author: 
Knab, Jean Tansey
Bos, Johannes M.
Friedlander, Daniel
Weissman, Joanna W.

Using data from an evaluation of two welfare-to-work programs in Riverside, Calif. and Grand Rapids, Mich., we find that requirements to participate in mandatory welfare-to-work programs can increase employment and earnings and reduce welfare income, independent of actual participation in the welfare-to-work program.  Usually, these independent effects of the participation requirements are not captured by estimates of welfare-to-work program impacts, because program impacts are measured conditional on the actual showing up of those required to participate.

The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies: Four-year impacts of ten programs on employment stability and earnings growth

Individual Author: 
Freedman, Stephen

This paper explores whether programs in the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) helped welfare recipients attain employment stability and earn more over time. These outcomes (defined in greater detail below) are important prerequisites for achieving long-term self-sufficiency and have served as goals of welfare-to-work programs past and present. The need for programs to promote stable employment and earnings growth has grown stronger since passage of PRWORA, which imposes time limits on most families’ eligibility to receive federally funded welfare benefits.