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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 14 No. 2 (Spring 2000)

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Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: Fighting Poverty: Lessons from Recent U.S. History

Article Citation

Blank, Rebecca M. 2000. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: Fighting Poverty: Lessons from Recent U.S. History." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(2): 3-19.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.2.3

Abstract

Welfare reform efforts in the 1990s aimed at reducing welfare dependence and moving women into work. Public assistance use fell and labor force participation among mothers rose at a stunning rate over the decade. Poverty declined, but at a slower rate. These changes are causally related to the strong macroeconomy, welfare reform efforts, and other policy changes, especially the EITC and minimum wage expansions. This paper concludes that all of these effects reinforced each other, producing very large behavioral changes. It is too early to predict the effects of these changes on long-term family well-being.

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Authors

Blank, Rebecca M. (U MI)

JEL Classifications

I38: Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
I32: Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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