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

ALTERNATIVE MEASURES OF ECONOMIC SUCCESS AMONG TANF PARTICIPANTS: AVOIDING POVERTY, HARDSHIP AND DEPENDENCE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

M. Cancian and D.R. Meyer

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol.23, 2004, p.531-548

Current debates about the success of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reforms in the USA have been obscured by the use of inconsistent indicators. Paper considers the conceptual and measurement issues associated with three different indicators of economic well-being: independence from public assistance, having income above the poverty threshold and freedom from material hardship. Survey and administrative data from a sample of TANF participants illustrate the sensitivity of conclusions to alternative ways of measuring each indicator.

IMPACT OF WELFARE REFORM ON MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

M.P. Bitler and others

Demography, vol.41, 2004, p.213-236

Study examined the effect of welfare reform on marriages and divorces in the US using flow data from vital statistics for 1989-2000. Results suggest that welfare reform (state waivers and implementation of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) is associated with significantly fewer new marriages and fewer divorces.

MODERNIZING SOCIAL SECURITY: CHANGING RESPONSIBILITIES AND INDIVIDUAL CHOICE

M. Einerhand and G. Nekkers

International Social Security Review, vol.57, July-September 2004, p.25-43

Argues that social security is not solely a state matter, but that firms, trade unions, industrial sectors and the individual all have role to play. Article looks at various ways in which responsibility for insuring against social risks such as sickness and unemployment can be divided between the various players, focusing on multipillar systems and savings accounts.

NEW SOCIAL RISKS IN POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETY: SOME EVIDENCE ON RESPONSES TO ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET POLICIES FROM EUROBAROMETER

P. Taylor-Gooby

International Social Security Review, vol.57, July-September 2004, p.45-64

One result of the complex economic and social changes impacting on the welfare state is the emergence of "new social risks", such as access to adequately paid employment for low-skilled young people and managing the work-life balance for women with family responsibilities and careers. These new risks coexist with the old social risks that traditional welfare states developed to meet, such as unemployment and retirement from paid work. New social risks offer policymakers the opportunity to replace costly passive benefits with policies which mobilise the workforce, enhancing economic competitiveness and reducing poverty. However, the political constituencies to support such policies are weak, since the risks affect people most strongly at particular life stages and among specific groups. Paper examines attitudes to new social risk labour market policies in four contrasting European countries.

STIGMA AND OTHER DETERMINANTS OF PARTICIPATION IN TANF AND MEDICAID

J. Stuber and K. Kronebusch

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol.23, 2004, p.509-530

Low-income families in the USA frequently do not participate in the means-tested government programmes for which they are eligible. Authors developed a conceptual framework to examine the association between stigma, enrolment barriers (e.g. difficult application process), knowledge, state policy and participation in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and adult Medicaid programmes. Survey data from 901 community health centre patients showed that, while images of the Medicaid programme were generally positive, stigma associated with welfare stereotypes reduced both Medicaid and TANF enrolment. Expectations of poor treatment when applying for Medicaid, enrolment barriers and wrong information about programme rules were also associated with reduced Medicaid participation.

WELFARE REFORM AND FEMALE HEADSHIP

J.M. Fitzgerald and D.C. Ribar

Demography, vol.41, 2004, p.189-212

Article assesses the impact of state-level welfare reform (waivers and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) implementation), on women's decisions to become unmarried heads of families, controlling for confounding influences from local economic and social conditions. Study used pooled data from the 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1996 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, which cover the period when many US states adopted welfare reforms. Found litte consistent evidence that welfare reform affected female headship of families.

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