The effects of welfare-to-work programs on welfare recipients' employment outcomes

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This study examined the effects of U. S. Welfare-to-Work programs on the employment outcomes of Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) recipients. Using the Survey of Program Dynamics and the Welfare Rules Database, the present study followed unemployed TANF recipients who participated in Human Capital Development (HCD) and Labor Force Attachment (LFA) programs from 1997 through 2001. The analyses examined how program participation affected recipients' employment while holding the effects of the state economy and various TANF rules constant. The results showed that, unlike the assumption of the work-first strategy in the welfare reform, participation in HCD programs was associated with a higher probability of obtaining and maintaining employment than participation in LFA programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-142
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Employment
  • Human capital development
  • Labor force attachment
  • Welfare reform
  • Welfare-to-work


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