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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2004): Social Security - Overseas

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: THE SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS OF FORMER TANF RECIPIENTS IN WEST VIRGINIA

M. Latimer

Sociological Spectrum, vol.24, 2004, p.93-124

Using data from a 1999 survey of former West Virginia welfare recipients, research examines the socio-economic well-being of needy parents approximately one year after their leaving the system. Findings include:

  • 22% of leavers returned to the welfare rolls within a year;
  • 57% of the sample indicated they were the same or worse off financially since leaving welfare;
  • 70% expected their total income in 1999 to be less than $10,000;
  • 45% of those in employment indicated they received no job-related benefits such as health insurance.

It is clear that not all former welfare recipients are likely to improve their financial status or move towards self-sufficiency.

EXPLAINING EXIT TO WORK AMONG SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS IN NORWAY: HETEROGENEITY OR DEPENDENCY?

E. Dahl and T. Lorentzen

European Sociological Review, Vol. 19, 2003, p.519-536

The article considers why some Norwegian social assistance recipients move on to work while others remain on benefit. It examines the exit-to-work pattern of the 1995 entry cohort of social assistance recipients, and looks at how these rates are affected by time, sex, age, education and ethnicity, as well as by unobserved heterogeneity estimated by mass point method developed by Heckman and Singer. It concludes that the exit to work pattern is affected by demand for labour, as well as individual behaviours and characteristics, weakening the argument that the longer individuals continue claiming benefit, the less likely they are to become self sufficient.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS' FISCAL RESPONSES TO WELFARE REFORM

K.V. Byers and M. A. Pirog

Public Budgeting and Finance, vol.23, Winter 2003, p.86-107

Indiana's township trustee system provides a case study of how local governments respond to welfare reform. Article looks at how those leaving welfare in Indiana are using the township trustee system, the state's general assistance programme providing poor relief, to meet their basic needs, as well as how the trustees have responded to welfare reform.

THE ONLY WAY IS UP? EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION AND JOB MOBILITY AMONG RECENT ENTRANTS TO EUROPEAN LABOUR MARKETS

M. Gangl

European Sociological Review, Vol. 19, 2003, p.429-449

The article examines the effects of employment protection legislation (EPL) on job mobility and status attainment among young people entering the labour market. It compares the tightly relegated Southern European labour market with the more flexible Scandinavian-like system whilst tracking the progress of young people entering their first significant job after leaving school. It discovers that although EPL creates greater job stability, this restricts mobility in the job market, reducing opportunity levels in external labour markets and making it much harder for young people to develop and achieve their full potential.

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