Audit of Wisconsin Works (W2). The Legislative Audit Bureau of Wisconsin have issued this evaluation of the famous welfare to work scheme. They find that while employment has increased slightly, the jobs are often low paying. The numbers receiving assistance have decreased dramatically. The W2 scheme operates at a higher public cost than the previous AFDC programme. The report includes data on public expenditure and effect on outcomes (welfare caseloads, employment, and income of participants)..
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Child Care Subsidies. The federal welfare-reform legislation enacted in 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, gave states new opportunities for meeting the needs of low-income families and children - including assisting with childcare needs. This report provides data on the patterns and dynamics of child care subsidy use. "The Dynamics Of Child Care Subsidy Use: A Collaborative Study of Five States" by Ann Collins.
Minimum Wage. The minimum wage debate rages on in academia. Using UK data, Mark Stewart from Warwick University argues that the minimum wage has had either a zero or small positive effect on employment. See The Impact of the Introduction of the UK Minimum Wage on the Employment Probabilities of Low Wage Workers for more details. Conversely, Manfred Keil, Donald Robertson and James Symons, using US data, argue that the traditional view - that minimum wages cause unemployment - is correct.
By Centre for Economic Performance, US, UK.
Welfare Reform & Lone Mothers' Employment. The 1990s in the US saw the devolution of much of welfare policy to State level, the introduction of work requirements for welfare recipients, increased childcare provision and a rise in the Earned Income Tax Credit. These reforms were introduced to move lone mothers into work - by mandating work, making work pay and helping with childcare - and the evidence presented here suggests that they did just that. Between 1994 and 1995 the numbers of people on welfare fell by half from 5million to 2.5 million. Over the same period labour force participation of lone mothers increased by 10%. Analysis suggests that this was due to a combination of two factors - the welfare reforms and the strong US economy. By Jane Waldfogel, Sandra K. Danziger, Sheldon Danziger and Kristin Seefeldt of the UK based Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion. Also worth viewing is the Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism project, which, amongst other things, tests the impact of lone parents' moves into work on child poverty.