Evaluating Welfare Reform

A Framework and Review of Current Work

Panel on Data and Methods for Measuring the Effects of Changes in Social Welfare Programs

Robert A. Moffitt and Michele Ver Ploeg, Editors

Committee on National Statistics

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work Evaluating Welfare Reform A Framework and Review of Current Work Panel on Data and Methods for Measuring the Effects of Changes in Social Welfare Programs Robert A. Moffitt and Michele Ver Ploeg, Editors Committee on National Statistics Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The project that is the subject of this report is supported by Contract No. HHS-100-98-0011 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Support of the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (Number SBR-9709489). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06649-2 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Box 285, Washington, D.C. 20055. Call (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area). This report is also available on line at http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Suggested citation: National Research Council (1999) Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work. Interim Report. Panel on Data and Methods for Measuring the Effects of Changes in Social Welfare Programs. Robert A. Moffitt and Michele Ver Ploeg, Editors. Committee on National Statistics, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work PANEL ON DATA AND METHODS FOR MEASURING THE EFFECTS OF CHANGES IN SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMS ROBERT A. MOFFITT (Chair), Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University JOHN L. ADAMS, RAND, Santa Monica, California THOMAS CORBETT, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, Madison JOHN L. CZAJKA, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, D.C. KATHRYN EDIN, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania IRWIN GARFINKEL, School of Social Work, Columbia University ROBERT M. GOERGE, Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago ERIC A. HANUSHEK, Department of Economics, University of Rochester V. JOSEPH HOTZ, Departments of Economics and Policy Studies, University of California, Los Angeles RICHARD A. KULKA, Statistics, Health, and Social Policy, Research Triangle Institute REBECCA A. MAYNARD, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania SUZANNE M. RANDOLPH, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland WERNER SCHINK, California Department of Social Services, Sacramento MICHELE VER PLOEG, Study Director CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Senior Program Officer TELISSIA M. THOMPSON, Senior Project Assistant

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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 1998–1999 JOHN E. ROLPH (Chair), Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California JOSEPH G. ALTONJI, Department of Economics, Northwestern University JULIE DAVANZO, RAND, Santa Monica, California WILLIAM F. EDDY, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University WILLIAM KALSBEEK, Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina RODERICK J.A. LITTLE, School of Public Health, University of Michigan THOMAS A. LOUIS, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota CHARLES F. MANSKI, Department of Economics, Northwestern University WILLIAM NORDHAUS, Department of Economics, Yale University JANET L. NORWOOD, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C. EDWARD B. PERRIN, Department of Health Services, University of Washington PAUL ROSENBAUM, Department of Statistics, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania FRANCISCO J. SAMANIEGO, Division of Statistics, University of California, Davis RICHARD L. SCHMALENSEE, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIRON L. STRAF, Director (on leave) ANDREW A. WHITE, Acting Director

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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work Acknowledgments The Panel on Data and Methods for Measuring the Effects of Changes in Social Welfare Programs gratefully acknowledges those who contributed to the preparation of this interim report. First we would like to thank the staff of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services (ASPE-DHHS) for providing information on the studies following those who leave welfare and for briefing the panel on the progression of the welfare leaver studies. Susan Hauan, Julie Isaacs, and Matt Lyon all provided information for the panel. We would also like to thank Patricia Ruggles for briefing the panel on ASPE's research activities at the first panel meeting and for taking the time to provide briefings on ASPE activities at meetings with staff to the panel. Howard Rolston of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in DHHS also provided a summary of ACF research activities for the panel's first meeting. Several other individuals updated the panel on current research efforts on welfare reform for the first meeting of the panel. Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University, Charles Michalopoulos of Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, Stephanie Shipp of the Census Bureau, and Alan Weil of the Urban Institute, are acknowledged for briefing the panel on their research projects. We also thank the participants of the workshop with states and counties who received ASPE-sponsored grants for spurring discussion at the workshop. A Summary of this workshop has been published separately and is available on request. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council

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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Burt S. Barnow, Institute for Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Greg J. Duncan, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University; Richard E. Larson, Family Investment Administration, Maryland Department of Human Resources; Lawrence M. Mead, Department of Politics, New York University; Robert Michael, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Chicago; Michael R. Pergamit, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago; and Don Winstead, Welfare Reform Administration, Florida Department of Children and Families. Although the individuals listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, it must be emphasized that responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. The panel is indebted to the efforts of the NRC staff in the preparation of this report. Michele Ver Ploeg, the study director for the panel and coeditor of this report, provided superb assistance in the drafting and redrafting process and in shepherding the draft through the NRC review process, as well as organizing the panel's meetings and activities, molding the panel's sometimes loose thoughts into coherent summaries, gathering and summarizing materials on welfare reform for the panel, and serving as liaison with the sponsor and other outside groups. Constance Citro, senior project officer, guided the panel through NRC processes, drafted sections of the report, and tirelessly read and commented on drafts of the report. The panel is grateful for her insights. The panel is grateful to Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education for her excellent technical editing. The panel greatly appreciates the work that Telissia Thompson, senior project assistant, provided for the activities of the panel. Telissia skillfully contributed to the production of the final manuscript. Her superb efforts in arranging the logistics of panel meetings and workshops should also be recognized. Finally, I thank my fellow panel members for giving their time and expertise so generously toward the completion of this report. Their contributions to the panel's activities and to this report are thoroughly appreciated. It has been a pleasure to work with you. ROBERT MOFFITT, CHAIR PANEL ON DATA AND METHODS FOR MEASURING THE EFFECTS OF CHANGES IN SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMS

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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work Contents     Executive Summary   1     Initial Conclusions   2     Short-Run Recommendations   4 1   Introduction   9     Program Background   11     Initial Work of the Panel   14 2   Framework, Principles, and Designs for Evaluation   16     Research and Policy Questions and Study Objectives   17     Study Populations of Interest   22     Outcomes and Time Frames   26     Study Methodologies   28     Estimating the Effect of Reform Components   35     Data Sources   36     Process Evaluations   46     Conclusions   49

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Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work 3   ASPE Leaver Studies and Other Current Research on Welfare Reform   50     ASPE-Funded Leaver Studies   51     Research Issues for the ASPE Leaver Studies   56     Other Welfare Leaver Studies   63     Other Major Welfare Reform Projects   71     Conclusions   78 4   Recommendations   79     Broad Role for the Department   79     ASPE Leaver Study Grants   88     References   90     Appendices         A Leaver Studies   95     B Summary of Welfare Reform Projects   117     C Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff   147