Social Work Workfare
by
Evelyn Z. Brodkin
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 September 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0163

Introduction

Workfare is a generic term referencing policies that require or promote work among welfare beneficiaries and the unemployed. Policies included under the rubric of workfare range from those that require beneficiaries to “work off” their benefits to policies that offer education, training, and work supports for unemployed individuals seeking labor market opportunities. Workfare is not a stand-alone policy. Generally, workfare requirements and programmatic features are incorporated into social welfare and labor market policies. In the United States, workfare assumed national significance as a key feature of welfare reform legislation in 1996, replacing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF requires beneficiaries to participate in work or work preparation to continue receiving cash assistance after two years. Most states now require participation in a welfare-to-work program prior to the two-year limit, with the possible exception of mothers with infants or those with health or personal conditions that preclude participation. Work-enforcing and work-promoting policies also have advanced through European Union efforts promoting active labor market policies, often referred to as activation policies. These policies have some common workfare elements, including provisions that make social benefits conditional on participation in activation programs. However, active labor market policies tend to emphasize education and training (human capital building) rather than work requirements, sometimes referred to as work-first approaches. Recent shifts in this emphasis toward mandatory work-first requirements have provoked political controversy in some countries. Workfare, in its many varieties, has been incorporated into welfare state policies and programs around the world. Yet, it remains politically controversial in part because it raises questions about the state’s role in providing social protection to vulnerable individuals and also because it raises questions about the role of individuals as contributors to the economy and society. Research in this field crosses disciplinary and practitioner domains. It is the subject of philosophical debate, social science inquiry, historical comparison, and legal analysis. It also is the subject of applied research, engaging public policy analysis, social experimentation, public management, and social work studies. Each perspective highlights different questions and examines different dimensions of the workfare project. The literature identified in this article offers a guide to key dimensions of workfare research, drawing from a variety of perspectives and approaches. It emphasizes workfare research in the United States but also draws on international research that provides for comparisons across countries and policies.

Definitions

The term workfare is not easily defined, at least not with any precision. Some analysts argue that the term is too ambiguous to be captured with a simple definition, suggesting that it is best understood as a political referential used to signal a tough stance on work for public beneficiaries (Barbier 2005). Others see workfarism as part of a general tendency toward minimizing social benefits and enforcing labor market participation (Peck 2001, pp. 9–10). The precise origins of the term are uncertain. Its popular usage in US politics and policymaking is generally traced back to President Richard Nixon. In a televised speech in August 1969, he argued that what “American needs now is not more welfare, but more ‘workfare’” (Peck 2001, p. 90). In the 1960s and 1970s, workfare largely referred to state-level policies requiring that certain recipients “work off” their benefits by engaging in unpaid labor as a form of benefit repayment. Community work experience programs were a primary example of this type of work-for-your-benefits arrangements. Over time, however, the term developed a less precise meaning, including programs that did more than simply require work but also offered work supports, including education, training, child care, and wage subsidies (Barbier 2005). Over the past few decades, different countries have used variants of workfare to require or support work among lone mothers, unemployed workers, out-of-work youths, and people with disabilities. Workfare-type schemes may operate under the nomenclature of welfare-to-work, active labor market policy, activation, or revenu minimum d’insertion, among others. Most often, these workfare arrangements attach conditions to the receipt of public benefits; that is, they require that individuals demonstrate an effort to work or prepare for work in the labor market. Peck 2001 offers an interesting history of the evolution of workfare as a policy feature. Kildal 2001 provides a good descriptive summary of various approaches to workfare in North American and Europe.

  • Barbier, Jean-Claude. 2005. When words matter: Dealing anew with cross-national comparisons. In Politiques sociales: Enjeux méthodologique et épistémologiques des comparaisons internationals/Social policies: Epistemological and methodological issues in cross-national comparison. Edited by Jean-Claude Barbier and Marie-Thérèse Letablier, 45–68. Brussels: Lang.

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    This essay presents a critical assessment of policy language and the dangers of imputing meaning into terms commonly used in comparative policy research. Barbier’s examination of the term workfare offers insights into the difficulties of locating a common meaning (pp. 54–57). This article offers a useful perspective for researchers seeking a sociolinguistic understanding of workfare.

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    • Kildal, Nanna. 2001. Workfare tendencies in Scandinavian welfare policies. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization.

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      Kildal reviews different forms of workfare from a comparative perspective. The description of alternative workfare arrangements will be useful to researchers comparing differences in policy approaches across countries. Also see Active Labor Market Policies: Comparative Workfare Studies.

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      • Peck, Jamie. 2001. Workfare states. New York: Guilford.

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        Peck offers a brief history of workfare as a policy term. He regards it as part of a “discursive struggle” (p. 81) in which social needs and concern for the disadvantaged have been displaced by an emphasis on individual responsibility and the market. This discussion offers a critical perspective on workfare terminology. See especially chapter 3 (“Workfare: What Does It Mean?” pp. 83–126). Also see Overview and History.

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        Overview and History

        Work requirements and work tests have a long history in the Western world. From the 16th century, French Aumône générale and British Poor Laws, which regularized relief to the poor and criminalized unsanctioned begging, to 20th and 21st century. US welfare policies, which imposed work tests and made relief conditional on work effort, workfare, and welfare have been linked together in policy and practice. Historical accounts offer perspectives on the evolution of these policies and are especially useful in placing them in political context. They also provide clear evidence that contemporary workfare policies share a legacy with their historical antecedents and reflect continued political conflict over the relationship between work and welfare. Good overviews of workfare policy and the political controversies that swirl around it can be found in Handler and Hasenfeld 1991 and Katz 2008, with Piven and Cloward 1993 also providing a strong critique of welfare and workfares’ regulatory functions. Comparative perspectives on these matters can be found in Peck 2001 and Standing 1990.

        • Handler, Joel F., and Yeheskel Hasenfeld. 1991. The moral construction of poverty: Welfare reform in America. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

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          This book offers an introduction to welfare and workfare policy in the United States. It traces key political and policy developments from the New Deal to welfare-to-work. This book provides a good historical overview and summary of policy initiatives that is accessible to nonexperts. The references offer a good research guide. Also see Workfare Policy Initiatives in the United States: 1969–1996.

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          • Katz, Michael B. 2008. The price of citizenship: Redefining the American welfare state. Updated ed. New York: Holt.

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            Katz offers a historical account of US welfare policy developments. The sections on specific welfare reform initiatives provide good background reading on the deployment of work requirements in welfare policy. This book is good reading for those seeking basic background knowledge. See especially chapters 1–4 (“The American Welfare State,” pp. 9–32; “Poverty and Inequality in the New American City,” pp. 33–56; “The Family Support Act and the Illusion of Welfare Reform,” pp. 57–76; and “Governors as Welfare Reformers,” pp. 77–103, respectively) and chapters 11–12 (“Fighting Poverty 1990s Style,” pp. 293–316, and “The End of Welfare,” pp. 317–340, respectively). Originally published in 2001. Also see Workfare Policy Initiatives in the United States: 1969–1996.

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            • Peck, Jamie. 2001. Workfare states. New York: Guilford.

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              Peck’s book examines the evolution of workfare from the perspective of a social geographer, setting policy developments both in place and time. He draws on selected examples from workfare policy in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada to trace workfare’s global trajectory and to offer a critical assessment of key features. He provides a critical, comparative perspective on workfare in these three Anglo-Saxon countries. Also see Definitions.

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              • Piven, Frances Fox, and Richard A. Cloward. 1993. Regulating the poor: The functions of public welfare. Updated ed. New York: Vintage.

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                Piven and Cloward’s seminal account of the political history of workfare and welfare reviews developments from the Middle Ages to contemporary United States. They see workfare as a regulatory mechanism used to discipline both the poor and lower wage workers. Regardless of one’s point-of-view, this work provides an important perspective for any researcher in this field.

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                • Standing, Guy. 1990. The road to workfare: Alternative to welfare or threat to occupation? International Labour Review 129.6: 677–691.

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                  Standing provides an overview of workfare as a highly varied policy enterprise. It is particularly useful to those seeking a succinct summary of key arguments in favor and against.

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                  US Policy Debate: Framing the Issues

                  The question of whether public benefits should be conditioned on work effort has been a pivotal matter in debates over welfare reform since the late 1960s. These ongoing debates culminated in 1996 in legislation that ended the AFDC program (originally named Aid to Dependent Children), which had emerged out of the New Deal in 1935. The 1996 law replaced AFDC with the TANF program. TANF’s workfare features and its five-year lifetime limit on cash benefits were highly controversial. In debating these issues, scholars offered conflicting arguments about the causes of poverty. Some blamed poverty primarily on the behavior of the poor and argued that policy should be designed to enforce work (Mead 1986; Murray 1984). Others blamed structural factors beyond the control of individuals, particularly pointing to deindustrialization and changes in the labor market that limited opportunities for work at living wage (Cloward and Piven 1993; Wilson 1987; Wilson 1996–1997,). For those interested in understanding workfare policy, it is important to appreciate how debates over the fundamental causes of poverty laid the groundwork for workfare proposals. A good overview of these issues can be found in Katz 1989. To gain a deeper understanding of these and related issues, also see sections in this bibliography on Gender, Motherhood, and Workfare and the Labor Market.

                  • Cloward, Richard A., and Frances Fox Piven. 1993. The fraud of workfare: Punishing the poor, again. The Nation 256.20: 693–696.

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                    Cloward and Piven, authors of Regulating the Poor (Piven and Cloward 1993, cited under Overview and History), make the case against workfare. The argument, framed for a general, nonexpert reader, builds on the thesis of their previous book. They contend that workfare-style policies undermine the well-being of poor families and devalue the role of motherhood.

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                    • Katz, Michael. 1989. The undeserving poor: From the war on poverty to the war on welfare. New York: Pantheon.

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                      This book offers a good overview of late-20th-century policy developments. Katz reviews the arguments made on behalf of work requirements that helped framed policy debates in the latter 20th century. Katz offers a short synopsis of arguments provided in Mead 1986 and Murray 1984 as well as scholarly responses critiquing these arguments (pp. 150–165).

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                      • Mead, Lawrence M. 1986. Beyond entitlement: The social obligations of citizenship. New York: Free Press.

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                        Mead argues that a tough workfare regime is necessary to change the behavior of the poor and lead them to work rather than accept welfare. This book helped to popularize the case for workfare. A good summary of Mead’s argument and the responses of his critics can be found in Katz 1989 (pp. 156–169).

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                        • Murray, Charles. 1984. Losing ground: American social policy, 1950–1980. New York: Basic Books.

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                          Murray argues that overly generous US social policies promote nonwork and welfare “dependency.” Written for a general rather than an expert audience, Murray purports to show a correlation between the growth of generous social programs and welfare “dependency.” Although the data analysis was rejected by many prominent scholars (summarized in Katz 1989, pp. 151–156), the argument helped to popularize the case for workfare.

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                          • Wilson, William Julius. 1987. The truly disadvantaged: The inner city, the underclass, and public policy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                            This book contributed to the workfare debate by examining the relationship between work and poverty. Wilson focuses on the decline in stable jobs that offer manual workers a living wage. Wilson criticizes workfare for assuming good jobs are available (see especially pp. 159–164). Wilson’s book is essential reading for those who interested in alternative frameworks for understanding poverty and workfare.

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                            • Wilson, William Julius. 1996–1997. When work disappears. Political Science Quarterly 111.4: 567–595.

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                              Wilson follows up arguments from his book The Truly Disadvantaged (Wilson 1987) by advocating specific policies to increase job opportunities, educate workers, improve work supports, and increase assistance for poor families. He makes the case for creating good jobs rather than imposing punitive workfare requirements. This article presents a nice synthesis of Wilson’s thesis and its policy implications for the general reader. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                              Normative and Social Justice Issues

                              Workfare’s normative and social justice concerns have received attention from scholars, who focus on the ethical, moral, and philosophical dimensions of this policy project. One set of concerns involves notions of rights and citizenship. Workfare is seen as antithetical to those interests (Dean 2007; Goodin 2004). A second set of concerns sees workfare as a policy that both undermines women’s autonomy and devalues the contribution of women as mothers (Young 2003). A third set of concerns sees workfare as antidemocratic, subjecting poor citizens to state surveillance and punishment and undermining freedom and equality (Wacquant 2010). A fourth perspective considers workfare as an instrument for advancing normative interests in social reciprocity and individual responsibility (Wax 2003) but also raises questions about whether workfare policy’s design is consistent with normative claims (Zatz 2006).

                              • Dean, Hartley. 2007. The ethics of welfare-to-work. Policy & Politics 35.4: 573–589.

                                DOI: 10.1332/030557307782453029Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Dean critiques normative claims made on behalf of workfare. Comparing policies in the United States and Europe, he suggests that they differ in their emphasis on coercion versus support and individualized social responsibility versus collective social responsibility. This article will be of special interest to those seeking to understand competing moral arguments. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                • Goodin, Robert E. 2004. Support with strings: Workfare as “impermissible condition.” Journal of Applied Philosophy 21.3: 297–308.

                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.0264-3758.2004.00283.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Goodin makes a normative case against conditionality in social welfare programs generally and workfare specifically. He reviews moral claims about the value and harms of workfare. This article takes up major lines of political theory but can be read by nonexperts interested in normative arguments. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                  • Wacquant, Loïc. 2010. Crafting the neoliberal state: Workfare, prisonfare, and social insecurity. Sociological Forum 25.2: 197–220.

                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1573-7861.2010.01173.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Wacquant offers a sociological critique of workfare, regarding it as a punitive policy used to discipline the poor. He compares workfare to incarceration, regarding both as control mechanisms that ignore structural conditions that lead to poverty and social displacement. This article is a somewhat dense piece that requires careful reading but is worthwhile for researchers interested in normative critiques of workfare. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                    • Wax, Amy. 2003. Social welfare, human dignity, and the puzzle of what we owe each other. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 27.1: 121–136.

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                                      Wax offers a normative defense of workfare policy as an instrument for advancing social reciprocity and individual responsibility. She makes the case for conditional reciprocity that allows for society to provide assistance to the needy while affirming their responsibility to society. This article will be useful to researchers interested in understanding arguments about reciprocity.

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                                      • Young, Iris Marion. 2003. Women, autonomy, welfare reform, and meaningful work. In The subject of care: Feminist perspectives on dependency. Edited by Eva Feder Kittay and Ellen K. Feder, 40–60. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                        Young brings a feminist and a normative perspective to the discussion of workfare. She makes the case that all citizens should be afforded the opportunity to engage in meaningful work, including child-rearing and other forms of care work. This important piece of political and feminist theory is accessible to those without substantial expertise these areas. Also see Gender, Motherhood, and Workfare.

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                                        • Zatz, Noah D. 2006. What welfare requires from work. UCLA Law Review 54.2: 373–464.

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                                          This article considers normative arguments regarding workfare, among them those emphasizing self-sufficiency, self-improvement, and social reciprocity. This analysis poses contradictions between normative claims about what workfare should do and what it is designed to do. It will be useful to researchers interested in normative arguments about workfare and their practical implications.

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                                          Workfare Policy Initiatives in the United States: 1969–1996

                                          Beginning in late 1960s, work requirements began to assume increasing importance in efforts to legislate changes in welfare policy, efforts that continued over nearly three decades. Although it is not possible to cover all of the policy ideas and debates that led to the transformation of welfare and advancement of workfare during this period, these selected readings provide a guide to those wishing to understand key initiatives that shaped this process and the political controversies that swirled around them. Excellent overviews of these developments can be found in Handler and Hasenfeld 1991 and Katz 2008. Between 1969 and 1972, the Nixon administration unsuccessfully promoted a family assistance program to replace AFDC (Marmor and Rein 1973). Although its major feature was a guaranteed minimum income for poor families, it also incorporated work requirements for those beneficiaries without young children. The guaranteed income was not enacted, but instead, in 1972, Congress enacted the so-called Tallmadge Amendment, arguably a first, if limited, step toward workfare. Over the next two decades, as Congress took up a variety of welfare reform proposals, work-promoting and work-enforcing policy provisions came to assume greater prominence, culminating in 1996 in legislation that ended the AFDC program, replacing it with TANF, a program that made benefits conditional on work. In the lead-up to TANF, workfare initiatives also proceeded on a second track, advancing through a series of experiments and demonstrations that purported to test various workfare schemes (Brodkin and Kaufman 2000; Gueron 1987). Even before TANF made workfare part of national law, most states were operating workfare programs under the terms of federal waivers justified as necessary to experiment with work requirements. The workfare provisions incorporated into TANF, along with time limits on receipt of welfare benefits, were the subject of considerable political controversy. Key elements of this controversy have been the subject of scholarly analyses of the welfare debate, as well as efforts by officials in the Clinton administration to explain their views on the evolution of welfare reform and workfare (Ellwood 1996, Piven 1996, Weaver 2000). These readings offer different accounts of key issues in the debate.

                                          • Brodkin, Evelyn Z., and Alexander Kaufman. 2000. Policy experiments and poverty politics. Social Service Review 74.4: 507–532.

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                                            Evaluations of the work incentive demonstrations played an important part in policy debates leading to workfare-based welfare reform in 1996. This article reexamines the evaluations and their role in the debates. It is useful to policy analysts and researchers interested in the work experiments specifically and the role of social experimentation in policymaking more broadly. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                            • Ellwood, David. 1996. Welfare reform as I knew it: When bad things happen to good policies. American Prospect 7.27: 22–29.

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                                              Ellwood, co-chair of the Clinton Administration’s Working Group on Welfare Reform, explains the rationale for the Administration’s welfare-to-work initiatives. This article provides a perspective on how administration officials thought about workfare. This article is best read in combination with Piven’s rejoinder (Piven 1996).

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                                              • Gueron, Judith. 1987. Reforming welfare with work. New York: Ford Foundation.

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                                                Gueron provides an easily accessible review of state work program demonstration projects and experiments in which she was involved as head of the Manpower Research Demonstration Corporation. This review will be useful for researchers seeking to understand the evaluations that were part of the workfare/welfare reform debate.

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                                                • Handler, Joel F., and Yeheskel Hasenfeld. 1991. The moral construction of poverty: Welfare reform in America. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

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                                                  Handler and Hasenfeld review the key policy initiatives that advanced workfare as a policy strategy beginning in the mid-20th century. This book is an excellent source for those seeking a basic understanding of key issues in the evolution of workfare in the United States It offers a good overview of these developments. Also see Overview and History.

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                                                  • Katz, Michael. 2008. The price of citizenship: Redefining the American welfare state. Updated ed. New York: Holt.

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                                                    Katz offers a good overview of key US policy advanced to reform welfare and institute workfare. It will be useful to readers seeking a description of some four decades of policy proposals and the historical context in which they evolved. Originally published in 2001. Also see Overview and History.

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                                                    • Marmor, Theodore, and Martin Rein. 1973. Reforming the welfare mess: The fate of the family assistance plan, 1969–1972. In Policy and politics in America: Six case studies. Edited by Allan Sindler, 3–28. Boston: Little, Brown.

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                                                      Marmor and Rein review what may be regarded as the first in a series of national efforts to advance comprehensive welfare reform and make assistance conditional on work. Their discussion provides a good historical perspective on the introduction of work requirements in US politics and policymaking, highlighting issues that reemerge throughout subsequent debates over welfare and workfare.

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                                                      • Piven, Frances Fox. 1996. Was welfare reform worthwhile? American Prospect 7.27: 14–15.

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                                                        Piven responds to Ellwood 1996, in which Ellwood describes the Clinton administration’s efforts to reform welfare and expand workfare. This piece should be read in combination with Ellwood’s article to understand key opposing views of workfare as a policy strategy. Ellwood responds to Piven at the conclusion of this article.

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                                                        • Weaver, R. Kent. 2000. Ending welfare as we know it. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

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                                                          This book offers an authoritative account of the legislative process that lead to enactment of TANF in 1996. This book will be useful to researchers seeking a detailed description of TANF legislation and the negotiations over its key workfare provisions.

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                                                          Assessing US Workfare: Quantitative Impact Studies

                                                          Researchers have attempted to sort out the impacts of welfare-to-work programs using quantitative analysis of administrative and survey data. It is not fully possible to distinguish the effects of TANF’s workfare provisions from other general provisions, nor is it fully possible to disentangle the impacts of specific provisions, their implementation, or the conditions under which they were implemented. However, evidence from quantitative analyses has played a significant part in debates over workfare and its various provisions. Analysts have applied a variety of sophisticated strategies for examining impacts. They vary in data used, questions asked, analytic approach adopted, and conclusions offered. Moffitt 2002 provides a general overview of evidence in a format easily accessible to the general reader. Some of the more extensive studies have been conducted by Mathematica (Wood and Wheeler 2007), which follow policy developments in selected states, and the Urban Institute, which conducted a series of “leaver studies” tracking what happened to individuals no longer receiving welfare (Acs and Loprest 2007, Loprest and Nichols 2011). In addition, economists have compiled findings from multiple studies and used meta-analysis to assess impacts (Blank 2002; Greenberg and Cebulla 2008; Grogger and Karoly 2005). Many of the major quantitative evaluations were contracted by government agencies; others were supported by major foundations. Government and think tank websites are useful guides to impact research studies.

                                                          • Acs, Gregory, and Pamela Loprest. 2007. TANF caseload composition and leavers synthesis report. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

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                                                            This study is one of a series of “leaver” studies conducted by the Urban Institute. It highlights mixed results in terms of the well-being of those leaving welfare for work. This study will be useful to researchers and analysts interested in the effects of welfare-to-work.

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                                                            • Blank, Rebecca M. 2002. Evaluating welfare reform in the United States. Journal of Economic Literature 40.4: 1105–1166.

                                                              DOI: 10.1257/002205102762203576Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Blank reviews data from numerous impact studies to develop a general assessment of the impact of welfare reform. She finds that increasing work effort is not necessarily associated with emergence out of poverty. This study will be useful to researchers and analysts interested in the effects of welfare-to-work. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                              • Greenberg, David, and Andreas Cebulla. 2008. The cost-effectiveness of welfare-to-work programs: A meta-analysis. Public Budgeting and Finance 28.2: 112–145.

                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5850.2008.00907.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                The authors use meta-analysis to assess cost-benefit studies of fifty mandatory welfare-to-work programs conducted under the AFDC program. This analysis will be of interest to experts seeking a technically sophisticated economic analysis of impacts. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                • Grogger, Jeff, and Lynn A. Karoly. 2005. Welfare reform: Effects of a decade of change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                  Grogger and Karoly provide an extensive review of evidence on the effects of welfare reform, including its workfare features. They offer an economic model of behavior to assess effects on work effort and other behaviors. This study is a sophisticated analysis that will be of great interest to policy experts. Nonexperts will find it useful for its overview of evidence assembled after ten years of welfare reform.

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                                                                  • Loprest, Pamela, and Austin Nichols. 2011. Dynamics of being disconnected from work and TANF. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

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                                                                    This study uses survey data to examine impacts of welfare reform on lone mothers, who no longer receive benefits and do not have work income. It highlights increases in the share of mothers disconnected from both welfare and work. This analysis will be of interest to policy analysts, sociologists, and social workers, and serves as a general guide to evaluation research on workfare.

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                                                                    • Moffitt, Robert A. 2002. From welfare to work: What the evidence shows. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

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                                                                      Moffitt reviews evidence on the impacts of welfare reform from evaluation research on welfare-to-work. This policy brief provides a good overview of impact research for nonexperts.

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                                                                      • Wood, Robert G., and Justin Wheeler. 2007. An examination of the first ten years under TANF in three states: The experiences of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. PP07-03. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research.

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                                                                        This policy brief examines impacts of welfare-to-work in three states. It will be useful to researchers interested in how states differ in the design of their workfare programs and whether different designs produced different impacts. The impact analysis focuses on caseload decline and work participation rates but it does not examine the social or economic well-being of workfare participants.

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                                                                        Sources for Impacts Research

                                                                        The US Department of Health and Human Services has supported a variety of impact studies and evaluations of workfare as part of its welfare reform research initiatives. Many of these studies are available on government and private organization websites. A good point of entry for impacts and evaluation research studies is the US Department of Health and Human Services itself, specifically, the website for the Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Other excellent research sources include the major private organizations contracted to conduct evaluations and impact studies. These include Manpower Research Demonstration, Mathematica Policy Research, and the Urban Institute.

                                                                        Assessing US Workfare: Implementation Studies

                                                                        Workfare, in practice, introduces great complexity into the implementation of public benefits programs. It requires caseworkers to assess individual capacity to work, the need for supportive services, and compliance with a variety of administrative requirements. It also requires the provision and appropriate allocation of work-oriented services, among them education, training, job matching, and child care. Implementation studies investigate what goes on in the name of policy by analyzing the practices of street-level organizations. These studies look into the “black box” of implementation to investigate how organizations translate policy into practice and to assess the consequences of these practices. One line of research investigates whether agencies fully carry out rules and requirements as written in formal policy (Meyers, et al. 1998; Riccucci 2005). Another line of research adopts a street-level perspective to investigate how discretionary practices shape workfare policy on the ground and how workfare really works under specific political and organizational conditions (Brodkin 1997; Herd, et al. 2005; Jewell 2007; Korteweg 2006; Morgen 2001). Some of these studies adopt a critical perspective, questioning the extent to which workfare practices operate to help individuals advance out of poverty through work in the labor market or the extent to which they force individuals into the ranks of the working poor or simply off the welfare rolls and into deeper poverty (Brodkin 1997; Herd, et al. 2005; Morgen 2001).

                                                                        • Brodkin, Evelyn Z. 1997. Inside the welfare contract: Discretion and accountability in state welfare administration. Social Service Review 71.1: 1–33.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/604228Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This article uses organizational ethnographic methods to investigate how street-level caseworkers exercise discretion to interpret a welfare contract premised on workfare requirements. It will be of interest to researchers and practitioners interested in the practices of workfare and their implications for rights and responsibilities. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                          • Herd, Dean, Andrew Mitchell, and Ernie Lightman. 2005. Rituals of degradation: Administration as policy in the Ontario Works Programme. Social Policy & Administration 39.1: 65–79.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2005.00425.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This article examines the implementation of workfare in Ontario, Canada, analyzing how caseworker discretion was used to enforce work. The authors are critical of workfare practices for emphasizing discipline and deterrence. This analysis will be of interest to implementation, policy, and organizational researchers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                            • Jewell, Christopher. 2007. Agents of the welfare state: How caseworkers respond to need in the United States, Germany, and Sweden. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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                                                                              This book offers a street-level view of workfare practices in selected locations in Sweden, the United States, and Germany. This analysis will be of special interest to comparative policy scholars.

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                                                                              • Korteweg, Anna C. 2006. The construction of gendered citizenship at the welfare office: An ethnographic comparison of welfare-to-work workshops in the United States and the Netherlands. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 13.3: 313–340.

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                                                                                This article compares workfare’s implementation in the United States and the Netherlands, examining how caseworker practices construct gender and citizenship. This study will be especially useful to researchers interested in the practices of street-level organizations and in gender issues. Also see Gender, Motherhood, and Workfare.

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                                                                                • Meyers, Marcia K., Bonnie Glaser, and Karin Mac Donald. 1998. On the front lines of welfare delivery: Are workers implementing policy reforms? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 17.1: 1–22.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199824)17:1%3C1::AID-PAM1%3E3.0.CO;2-ISave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This article analyzes the implementation of workfare in street-level practice. Using observation and interviews, the authors find that casework practices were poorly aligned with policies emphasizing work. This study will be of interest to implementation and policy researchers as well as to students of street-level organizations and social work. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                  • Morgen, Sandra. 2001. The agency of welfare workers: Negotiating devolution, privatization, and the meaning of self-sufficiency. American Anthropologist 103.3: 747–761.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1525/aa.2001.103.3.747Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Morgen analyzes the implementation of workfare in Oregon welfare offices. She examines how caseworkers give specific meaning to self-sufficiency through their practices. This study will be of interest to policy and organizational researchers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                    • Riccucci, Norma M. 2005. How management matters: Street-level bureaucrats and welfare reform. Washington, DC: Georgetown Univ. Press.

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                                                                                      This book examines whether street-level welfare workers are effectively implementing welfare reform and its workfare provisions and the role of public management in policy implementation. This analysis will be useful to researchers interested in understand workfare implementation processes and practices.

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                                                                                      Assessing US Workfare: Sanctions Studies

                                                                                      A key element of US workfare policies gives state authorities the power to impose financial sanctions on benefits recipients judged to have violated policy requirements. Most state TANF programs have a system of escalating sanctions under which they withhold payments from households for a period of time (which may range from one to six months). In debates over the formulation of workfare policy, sanctions were viewed as important disciplinary instruments, in effect, the “stick” that caseworkers may use to enforce work requirements. Caseworkers may judge individuals as noncompliant with work requirements for many reasons other than those directly involving willingness to accept a job or prepare for work. Sanctions also may be imposed for administrative infractions, including arriving late for an appointment or missing paperwork requested as part of the eligibility or workfare process (Lens 2008; Pavetti, et al. 2003). Research indicates that, in practice, the use of sanctions is highly discretionary with variation over place and time and by individual socio-economic characteristics (Cherlin, et al. 2002; Hasenfeld, et al. 2004; Monnat 2010). Other researchers have examined whether sanctions punish not only unwillingness to comply with requirements but also the inability to comply, for example, difficulty obtaining paperwork, health or transportation problems resulting in missed attendance, and so forth (Hasenfeld, et al. 2004). Another line of research examines how sanctions affect households, investigating impacts on family well-being, hardship, and child welfare (Kalil, et al. 2002; Reichman, et al. 2005).

                                                                                      • Cherlin, Andrew J., Karen Bogen, James M. Quane, and Linda Burton. 2002. Operating within the rules: Welfare recipients’ experiences with sanctions and case closings. Social Service Review 76.3: 387–405.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/341181Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        This article uses survey research to examine the experiences of individuals who were sanctioned or lost welfare benefits in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. This article will be useful to researchers interested in disparities in the use of welfare and workfare sanctions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                        • Hasenfeld, Yeheskel, Toorjo Ghose, and Kandyce Larson. 2004. The logic of sanctioning welfare recipients: An empirical assessment. Social Service Review 78.2: 304–319.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/382771Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          This study uses California welfare records and survey data to examine disparities in the application of sanctions and problems encountered by workfare participants. This article is a useful analysis for researchers seeking to understand variation in how sanctions are used and to gain insights into the perspective of welfare recipients. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                          • Kalil, Ariel, Kristin S. Seefeldt, and Hui-Chen Wang. 2002. Sanctions and material hardship under TANF. Social Service Review 76.4: 642–662.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/342998Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This study uses panel data from the Women’s Employment Survey to examine predictors of sanctioning and consequences for material hardship among a sample of welfare recipients. It finds that African Americans and individuals lacking a high school education face a greater probability of sanctions. It is especially useful to researchers interested in understanding sanctioning disparities and family impacts. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                            • Lens, Vicki. 2008. Welfare and work sanctions: Examining discretion on the front lines. Social Service Review 82.2: 197–222.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1086/589706Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              This study analyzes sanctions using data from administrative fair hearing decisions and in-depth interviews with sanctioned recipients. This article will be of interest to researchers seeking to understand discretion in sanctions use from an administrative justice and sociolegal perspective. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                              • Monnat, Shannon M. 2010. The color of welfare sanctioning: Exploring the individual and contextual roles of race on TANF case closures and benefit reductions. Sociological Quarterly 51.4: 678–707.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.2010.01188.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                This article uses county-level administrative data to examine racial disparities in TANF sanctions, comparing black, Latina, and white welfare recipients. This article is useful to researchers interested in disparities in the use of workfare sanctions. Available online for purchase or by subscription. Also see Race, Ethnicity, and Workfare.

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                                                                                                • Pavetti, LaDonna, Michelle K. Derr, and Heather Hesketh. 2003. Review of sanction policies and research studies: Final literature review. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.

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                                                                                                  This research report provides a good overview of state sanctions policies and evidence from other studies indicating how they are used in very readable form. It is most useful to those seeking basic information on workfare sanctions and state sanctions policies.

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                                                                                                  • Reichman, Nancy E., Julien O. Teitler, and Marah A. Curtis. 2005. TANF sanctioning and hardship. Social Service Review 79.2: 215–236.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1086/428918Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    This study uses survey data to estimate the effects of sanctions on family hardship. It examines the risk of food insecurity, utility shutoffs, and housing difficulties. This study will be useful to researchers seeking empirical evidence indicating how sanctions affect the well-being of poor families. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                    Workfare Governance

                                                                                                    The introduction of workfare has been accompanied by governance reforms, among them, contracting, devolution, and performance measurement. Research has drawn attention to the politics and management of workfare and political and practical implications of governance reforms. One line of research examines privatization and contracting, examining how privately managed workfare may differ from publically provided services (Benish 2010; Considine 2000; Dias and Maynard-Moody 2007; Finn 2009). Another line of research investigates how street-level workfare practices are influenced by the introduction of new public management strategies that seek to manage discretion through performance measurement and incentive structures (Brodkin 2011; Larsen and van Berkel 2009; Soss, et al. 2011). These studies also raise questions about how workfare governance affects transparency, accountability, and responsiveness. Additional resources can be found in the section on Active Labor Market Policies: Comparative Workfare Studies.

                                                                                                    • Benish, Avishai. 2010. Re-bureaucratizing welfare administration. Social Service Review 84.1: 77–101.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1086/653454Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      This article uses Wisconsin’s welfare-to-work program as a case study to examine privatization, performance measurement, and their effects. It will be of interest to students of implementation, privatization, law, and management. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                      • Brodkin, Evelyn Z. 2011. Policy work: Street-level organizations under new managerialism. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory 21.2(Suppl): 253–277.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muq093Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        This article uses organizational ethnographic methods to investigate how street-level practitioners adapt to workfare governance strategies and how workfare really works on in everyday organizational life. This analysis will be of interest to implementation, management, and sociolegal researchers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                        • Considine, Mark. 2000. Selling the unemployed: The performance of firms and non-profits in the new Australian “market” for unemployment assistance. Social Policy & Administration 34.3: 274–295.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1111/1467-9515.00191Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          This study investigates the processes of privatization and contracting welfare-to-work in Australia. It questions whether they achieve the cost and service benefits advocates of these governance reforms claim. This study will be of interest to public management and policy researchers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                          • Dias, Janice Johnson, and Steven Maynard-Moody. 2007. For-profit welfare: Contracts, conflicts, and the performance paradox. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory 17.2: 189–211.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mul002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            This article examines how financial inducements in performance contracts shape the inner workings of a for-profit welfare-to-work training program serving long-term recipients. This analysis will be of interest to policy and management researchers and students of street-level organizations. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                            • Finn, Dan. 2009. The “welfare market” and the flexible New Deal: Lessons from other countries. Local Economy 24.1: 38–45.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/02690940802645471Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              This article investigates privatization of workfare delivery in the United Kingdom and offers comparisons to other countries. It suggests that privatization creates risks for the most disadvantaged job seekers and undermines the role of nonprofit organizations in policy delivery. It will be of interest to policy and management researchers and those seeking a comparative perspective on workfare implementation and governance. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                              • Larsen, Flemming, and Rik van Berkel, eds. 2009. The new governance and implementation of labour-market policies. Copenhagen: DJØF.

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                                                                                                                This book offers a comparative view of workfare’s governance shifts in different countries in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, and the United States. This book will be of interest to policy and management researchers and those seeking a comparative perspective on workfare policy, implementation, and governance.

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                                                                                                                • Soss, Joe, Richard Fording, and Sanford F. Schram. 2011. The organization of discipline: From performance management to perversity and punishment. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory 21.2(Suppl): 203–232.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muq095Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  The article examines performance measurement and contracting in the Florida Welfare Transition program. It considers both workfare and performance measurement as disciplinary instruments, albeit, with different targets. It will be of interest to public management and policy researchers and practitioners. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                  Gender, Motherhood, and Workfare

                                                                                                                  In the United States, women with children, including lone mothers, are subject to work requirements as a condition for receiving welfare benefits. However, there is considerable variation across countries in the application of workfare to lone mothers (Korteweg 2006). Researchers bringing a gender lens to the study of workfare raise concerns about work–family balance and the effects of parental work effort on children and family well-being (Albelda and Shea 2010; Kalil, et al. 2000; Korteweg 2006). Another line of research examines the types of work available to lower skilled women and the extent to which the labor market provides opportunities for economic well-being and stability (Blank and Shierholz 2006). A third line of research adopts a feminist perspective to raise questions about workfare as a gendered policy (Mink 1998), highlighting conflicts that are associated with women’s dual work roles in the labor market and in the home (Kalil, et al. 2000; Korteweg 2006; Young 2002).

                                                                                                                  • Albelda, Randy, and Jennifer Shea. 2010. To work more or not to work more: Difficult choices, complex decisions for low-wage parents. Journal of Poverty 14.3: 245–265.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/10875549.2010.494937Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    This article examines women’s employment opportunities in the lower wage labor market. The study uses data collected from focus groups to explore the ways in which parents make decisions about increasing hours of employment and managing their child care responsibilities. This perspective will be useful to researchers interested in workfare’s gendered and family effects. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                    • Blank, Rebecca M., and Heidi S. Shierholz. 2006. Exploring gender differences in employment and wage trends among less-skilled workers. NBER Working Paper 12494. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.3386/w12494Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      This article examines gender differences in work participation and wages. It seeks to account for the role gender, skill level, marital status, and number of children in labor market outcomes. This paper is useful to policy researchers interested in the labor market opportunities for lower skilled women subject to workfare requirements.

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                                                                                                                      • Kalil, Ariel, Heide Schweingruber, Marijata Daniel-Echols, and Ashli Breen. 2000. Mother, worker, welfare recipient: Welfare reform and the multiple roles of low-income women. In Coping with poverty: The social contexts of neighborhood, work, and family in the African-American community. Edited by Sheldon Danziger and Ann Chih Lin, 201–223. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.

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                                                                                                                        This article uses interview data to examine work–family balance issues for low-income women subject to workfare requirements. It will be useful to policy analysts and social workers interested in learning how poor women see the challenges of balance working and family life.

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                                                                                                                        • Korteweg, Anna C. 2006. The construction of gendered citizenship at the welfare office: An ethnographic comparison of welfare-to-work workshops in the United States and the Netherlands. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 13.3: 313–340.

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                                                                                                                          This article brings a street-level, ethnographic approach to the study of workfare. Korteweg compares how workfare caseworkers and participants effectively negotiate role of women as workers and mothers in US and Dutch workfare programs. This study will be of special use to researchers interested in gender and citizenship. Available online for purchase or by subscription. Also see Assessing US Workfare: Implementation Studies.

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                                                                                                                          • Mink, Gwendolyn. 1998. Why should poor single mothers have to work outside the home? Work requirements and the negation of mothers. In Welfare’s end. By Gwendolyn Mink, 103–132. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                            This book critiques the premises of workfare from a feminist perspective. The author argues against workfare policies as applied to lone mothers. This book will be of special interest to policy and social welfare researchers seeking a feminist perspective on workfare.

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                                                                                                                            • Young, Iris. 2002. Women, autonomy, welfare reform, and meaningful work. In The subject of care: Feminist perspectives of dependency. Edited by Eva Feder Kittay and Ellen K. Feder, 40–60. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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                                                                                                                              Young offers a feminist critique of workfare, arguing for women’s autonomy in making work and family life choices. She criticizes workfare for failing to value unpaid care work in the home and community. Young’s argument is essential reading for those interested in feminist and normative perspectives on workfare. Also see Normative and Social Justice Issues.

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                                                                                                                              Race, Ethnicity, and Workfare

                                                                                                                              Studies of welfare and workfare raise questions about disparities in the application of work rules and sanctions. Because sanctions result in reductions or termination of welfare benefits, disparities in their application have important implications. Studies generally find that African-Americans and Latinos are more likely than Whites to receive sanctions, although disparities may decline or disappear when minorities have greater representation in local politics (Fording, et al. 2011; Keiser, et al. 2004; Monnat 2010). Research on racial disparities also examines differences in employment outcomes, investigating whether the labor market disadvantages minorities (Gooden 2000). Another line of research examines the practices of workfare, questioning whether, and how race and ethnicity shapes the participant–caseworker exchanges through which workfare and welfare policies are constructed (Watkins-Hayes 2011).

                                                                                                                              • Fording, Richard C., Joe Soss, Sanford F. Schram. 2011. Race and the local politics of punishment in the new world of welfare. American Journal of Sociology 116.5: 1610–1657.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1086/657525Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                This study examines whether there are racial disparities in the implementation of workfare sanctions, using longitudinal and cross-sectional multilevel analyses of individual-level administrative data. This article is useful to researchers interested in disparities in the use of sanctions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                • Gooden, Susan Tinsley. 2000. Race and welfare: Examining employment outcomes of white and black welfare recipients. Journal of Poverty 4.3: 21–41.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1300/J134v04n03_02Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  This article examines racial disparities in employment outcomes for individuals participating in Virginia’s workfare program. This analysis will be of interest to policy analysts, sociologists, and researchers interested in racial disparities in workfare outcomes. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                  • Keiser, Lael R., Peter R. Mueser, and Seung-Whan Choi. 2004. Race, bureaucratic discretion, and the implementation of welfare reform. American Journal of Political Science 48.2: 314–327.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.0092-5853.2004.00072.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    This article examines racial disparities in welfare sanctions in a Midwestern state. It finds that as nonwhites gained political power in local elections, racial disparities declined or were eliminated. This article will be of interest to researchers seeking to understand how race matters to workfare administration, generally, and sanctions, specifically. Available online for purchase or by subscription. Also see Assessing US Workfare: Sanctions Studies.

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                                                                                                                                    • Monnat, Shannon M. 2010. The color of welfare sanctioning: Exploring the individual and contextual roles of race on TANF case closures and benefit reductions. Sociological Quarterly 51.4: 678–707.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.2010.01188.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This article explores whether there are racial and ethnic disparities in the imposition of welfare sanctions. Using administrative data, the authors investigate variations with particular attention to Black, Latina, and White women. This article is useful to researchers interested questions of racial bias in welfare administration. Available online for purchase or by subscription. Also see Assessing US Workfare: Sanctions Studies.

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                                                                                                                                      • Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. 2011. Race, respect, and red tape: Inside the black box of racially representative bureaucracies. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory 21.2(Suppl): 233–251.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muq096Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        This article considers how race and ethnicity play out in the implementation of workfare. It finds that race differences matter, but also that bureaucratic red tape can be as or more important. This study will be of interest to policy researchers, sociologists, and social workers interested in race, ethnicity, and workfare. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                        Rights under Workfare

                                                                                                                                        An important line of workfare research considers the normative, social, and practical consequences of workfare policies and administration for rights and citizenship. Legal scholarship is particularly concerned with “rights holding,” in the sense that rights confer a “zone of immunity” from state interference. Legal analysts examine how workfare policy and administration alter citizenship rights, particularly the right to reject work under certain conditions and circumstances and what that means for democratic citizenship (Diller 2000; Handler 2009; Zatz 2006). Another area of rights scholarship involves examination of processes through which individuals subject to workfare rules may challenge administrative practices that result in loss of benefits (Lens 2007). In addition, legal scholars also have questioned what it means effectively to create a special class of workers, who perform the same work as paid employees but are required to work without pay or other employee rights to maintain welfare benefits (Reese 2000).

                                                                                                                                        • Diller, Matthew. 2000. The revolution in welfare administration: Rules, discretion, and entrepreneurial government. New York University Law Review 75.5: 1121–1220.

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                                                                                                                                          This article examines how changes in law and administration affect the rights of individuals subject to welfare and workfare rules. It considers differences between welfare as an entitlement and as a benefit conditional on work. It is useful to researchers interested in legal and administrative justice dimensions of workfare.

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                                                                                                                                          • Handler, Joel F. 2009. Welfare, workfare and citizenship in the developed world. Annual Review of Law & Social Science 5:71–90.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1146/annurev.lawsocsci.093008.131551Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            This article considers how rights and citizenship are affected by workfare and activation policies. It provides a comparative perspective, considering policy differences among a variety of developed countries. Handler’s perspective will be of special interest to socio-legal and social work researchers concerned with issues of rights and social justice. Available online for purchase or by subscription. Also see Active Labor Market Policies: Comparative Workfare Studies.

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                                                                                                                                            • Lens, Vicki. 2007. Administrative justice in public welfare bureaucracies: When citizens (don’t) complain. Administration & Society 39.3: 382–408.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/0095399707301006Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Fair hearings provide welfare recipients access to appeal the misapplication of workfare rules. Lens draws on interview data to explore why so few of those sanctioned for workfare violations seek relief from the fair hearing process, even when they believe the sanctions were incorrect. This study will be of interest to sociolegal, administrative justice, and social work researchers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                              • Reese, Noelle M. 2000. Workfare participants deserve employment protections under the fair labor standards act and workers’ compensation laws. Rutgers Law Journal 31:873–911.

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                                                                                                                                                Workfare may require that individuals work in return for their benefits. This article raises questions about the legal status of workfare participants and employment protection laws. These questions will be of interest to workfare researchers in general and those interested in law and social justice specifically.

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                                                                                                                                                • Zatz, Noah. 2006. Welfare to what? Hastings Law Journal 57:1131–1188.

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                                                                                                                                                  This article reviews TANF legal provisions regarding work. It analyzes variation in the ways state governments define work for policy purposes and how different definitions of work are operationalized in welfare administration. This study offers a valuable perspective for social scientists and legal researchers who wish to consider how different workfare schemes define work.

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                                                                                                                                                  Active Labor Market Policies: Comparative Workfare Studies

                                                                                                                                                  Contemporary workfare may be regarded as an international policy project. Different forms of workfare have been incorporated into social welfare and labor market policies in most advanced market democracies. There is great variation in the policies and practices of workfare, which may emphasize work activation through education, training, and work supports or they alternatively may emphasize the obligation to work through work-first or work-for-benefits programs. There is a broad and growing literature on different approaches to workfare. Comparative studies are particularly useful in getting a sense of the varieties of workfare as well as commonalities and differences in approaches, practices, and consequences. The studies identified here provide references that may be used to guide research on specific countries. For comparative reviews of European activation policy in selected countries, see Cox 1998; Kildal 2001; Knijn, et al. 2007; and Pascual and Magnusson 2007. For reviews of European policies that include comparisons to the United States, see Brodkin and Marston 2013, Handler 2009, Lødemel and Tricky 2001, and Ochel 2004.

                                                                                                                                                  • Brodkin, Evelyn Z., and Gregory Marston, eds. 2013. Work and the welfare state: Street-level organizations and workfare politics. Washington, DC: Georgetown Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                    This volume of international studies examines how workfare and labor market activation policies work on the ground and how they are reshaping the boundaries of the welfare state. Chapters also examine the role of governance and management initiatives in shaping the politics and practices of workfare in the United States, Western Europe, and Australia.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Cox, Robert Henry. 1998. From safety net to trampoline: Labor market activation in the Netherlands and Denmark. Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration 11.4: 397–414.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/0952-1895.00079Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Cox reviews activation policies in the Netherlands and Denmark. He offers a political analysis suggesting that their policies reflect a shift in the ideas and goals of the postwar welfare state. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Handler, Joel F. 2009. Welfare, workfare and citizenship in the developed world. Annual Review of Law & Social Science 5:71–90.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1146/annurev.lawsocsci.093008.131551Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        As workfare and activation become common policies throughout the developed world, Handler argues that it is important to understand what they mean for rights and citizenship. This review will be useful to researchers seeking a good summary of international developments and an examination of issues of rights and social justice. Available online for purchase or by subscription. Also see Rights Under Workfare.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Kildal, Nanna. 2001. Workfare tendencies in Scandinavian welfare policies. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labor Organization.

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                                                                                                                                                          Kildal provides a comparative view of workfare in the Nordic countries. It will be useful to researchers seeking a description of formal policy provisions and arrangements in Northern Europe.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Knijn, Trudie, Claude Martin, and Jane Millar. 2007. Activation as a common framework for social policies towards lone parents. Social Policy & Administration 41.6: 638–652.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2007.00576.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            This article provides an overview and assessment of policies requiring work as a condition of social benefits for lone-parent families in France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It provides an accessible account of these developments, which will be useful to nonexperts seeking a comparative perspective on workfare. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Lødemel, Ivar, and Heather Trickey, eds. 2001. “An offer you can’t refuse”: Workfare in international perspective. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

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                                                                                                                                                              Chapters in this book provide an introduction to workfare policies in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and United States. It will be useful to researchers seeking descriptions of workfare policies in these countries at the start of the 21st century.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Ochel, Wolfgang. 2004. Welfare-to-work experiences with specific work-first programmes in selected countries. CESifo Working Paper 1153. Munich: Center for Economic Studies.

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                                                                                                                                                                This paper reviews experimental and econometric evaluation studies of mandatory work-first for welfare recipients in the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany. It is a useful guide to quantitative evaluation research in these countries.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Pascual, Amparo Serrano, and Lars Magnusson, eds. 2007. Reshaping welfare states and activation regimes in Europe. Brussels: Lang.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Chapters in this volume examine activation policy in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The book presents useful descriptions of policy strategies, although the primary emphasis is on the analysis of policy discourses.

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