How welfare policies affect child and adolescent school performance: Investigating pathways of inf uence with experimental data

Pamela Morris, Lisa Gennetian, Greg J. Duncan, Aletha C. Huston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Introduction. Over the past 30 years, public programs for poor families have moved away from cash assistance to a focus on promoting parents' self-sufficiency through employment. Improving the well-being of children is an often expressed policy goal, but the bulk of the rhetoric and the evidence driving policy debates has centered on adult employment and reductions in the welfare rolls. Both experiments and welfare-leaver studies show that many families remain in poverty even when parents are employed full time. This has resulted in a shift in policy conversation from caseload reduction to concerns about reducing poverty and improving children's well-being in low-income families with working parents. This chapter summarizes the results of research conducted as part of the Next Generation Project, a collaborative project involving researchers at MDRC and several universities, using evidence from a diverse set of experiments to understand some of the conditions under which policyinduced increases in employment among low-income single parents can help or hurt children. Unique to this research is the synthesis of results from several random assignment experiments launched in the late 1980s and early 1990s to learn how policies designed to increase employment and reduce welfare receipt among low-income parents can affect the development of their children. This chapter goes beyond simply examining program impacts. We bring an interdisciplinary perspective to formulating and testing hypotheses about the ways in which changes in family functioning caused by the experimental programs facilitate or harm children's development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWelfare Reform and its Long-Term Consequences for America's Poor
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages255-289
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9780511605383, 9780521764254
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Fingerprint

Pathway
School performance
Welfare policy
Experiment
Poverty
Low income
Well-being
Cash
Random assignment
Single parents
Functioning
Child development
Child well-being
Hypothesis testing
Self-sufficiency
Rhetoric
Low-income families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

Morris, P., Gennetian, L., Duncan, G. J., & Huston, A. C. (2009). How welfare policies affect child and adolescent school performance: Investigating pathways of inf uence with experimental data. In Welfare Reform and its Long-Term Consequences for America's Poor (pp. 255-289). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605383.009

How welfare policies affect child and adolescent school performance : Investigating pathways of inf uence with experimental data. / Morris, Pamela; Gennetian, Lisa; Duncan, Greg J.; Huston, Aletha C.

Welfare Reform and its Long-Term Consequences for America's Poor. Cambridge University Press, 2009. p. 255-289.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Morris, P, Gennetian, L, Duncan, GJ & Huston, AC 2009, How welfare policies affect child and adolescent school performance: Investigating pathways of inf uence with experimental data. in Welfare Reform and its Long-Term Consequences for America's Poor. Cambridge University Press, pp. 255-289. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605383.009
Morris P, Gennetian L, Duncan GJ, Huston AC. How welfare policies affect child and adolescent school performance: Investigating pathways of inf uence with experimental data. In Welfare Reform and its Long-Term Consequences for America's Poor. Cambridge University Press. 2009. p. 255-289 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605383.009
Morris, Pamela ; Gennetian, Lisa ; Duncan, Greg J. ; Huston, Aletha C. / How welfare policies affect child and adolescent school performance : Investigating pathways of inf uence with experimental data. Welfare Reform and its Long-Term Consequences for America's Poor. Cambridge University Press, 2009. pp. 255-289
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