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Building Better Social ProgramsHow Evidence Is Transforming Public Policy$
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David Stoesz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190945572

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190945572.001.0001

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Poor Policy

Poor Policy

Chapter:
(p.58) Chapter 3 Poor Policy
Source:
Building Better Social Programs
Author(s):

David Stoesz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190945572.003.0004

Neoliberalism provided the rationale for reviewing public assistance with unintended effects. In anticipation of the 1996 welfare reform, state welfare waivers provided a verdant environment for assessing alternatives to Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Field experiments became the default to determine program efficacy and efficiency. Subsequently, research demonstrated that “work first” was superior to “human capital development” strategies. Virtually all of the research on welfare waivers was conducted by private research firms. Welfare reform had two undesirable consequences: diverting cash from welfare families to professional service providers and denying benefits for families unable to make the transition from welfare to work.

Keywords:   welfare reform, state waivers, research, alternatives to welfare, work

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