ERIC Number: ED459054
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb-2
Reference Count: N/A
Welfare Reform in Rural America: A Review of Current Research.
Findeis, Jill L.; Henry, Mark; Hirschl, Thomas A.; Lewis, Willis; Ortega-Sanchez, Ismael; Peine, Emelie; Zimmerman, Julie N.
This research review suggests that welfare reform policy should recognize the differences between rural and urban poor families. The rural poor are more likely to be employed, married, and non-Hispanic white. Rural-urban labor market differences are also likely to influence the effects of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). For example, during expansions, urban labor markets are typically tighter, and it is tight labor markets that induce employers to offer amenities to disadvantaged workers. Hence, the 1990s economic expansion that reduced welfare rolls was probably less beneficial to the rural poor. Welfare caseloads declined unevenly in rural and urban areas in the mid to late 1990s, depending upon the state economy and welfare policy. The decline in dependence on TANF has been more universal, with food stamp dependence declining more slowly in rural communities. Even still, there is evidence that a significant number of eligible rural and urban households currently lack access to food stamps, perhaps due to PRWORA's policy thrust of limiting welfare receipt. Rural welfare "leavers" face mixed employment prospects and receive lower incomes than their urban counterparts. Because many "leavers" are employed in service occupations where earnings are low, a major policy challenge is to make work pay. Employment barriers for welfare "stayers" include lack of transportation and lack of child care, and these challenges are greater in rural than urban areas. The majority of those that continue to receive welfare, like most that leave welfare, have not graduated from high school, have an average of two children per family, and are female single parents. An appendix presents study information in table form. (Contains 98 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Education Work Relationship, Educational Attainment, Family Characteristics, Labor Market, Policy Analysis, Poverty, Public Policy, Rural Family, Rural Urban Differences, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Working Poor
For full text: http://www.rupri.org./pubs/archive/reports/P2001-5/index.html.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Missouri Univ., Columbia. Rural Policy Research Inst.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families