Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States

125 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2002 Last revised: 20 Jul 2022

Date Written: June 2002


This paper reviews the economics literature on welfare reform over the 1990s. A brief summary of the policy changes over this period is followed by a discussion of the methodological techniques utilized to analyze the effects of these changes on outcomes. The paper then critically reviews the econometric and experimental literature on caseload changes, labor force changes, poverty and income changes, and family formation changes. A growing body of evidence suggests that the recent policy changes have influenced economic behavior and well-being in a variety of ways. One particular set of 'new-style' welfare programs seems to show especially promising results, with significantly increased work and earnings and reduced poverty.

Suggested Citation

Blank, Rebecca M., Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States (June 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w8983, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=315333

Rebecca M. Blank (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Commerce ( email )

1401 Constitution Ave, N.W.
Rm 5838, HCHB
Washington, DC 20230
United States
202-482-3727 (Phone)