Keywords: Work requirements, TANF, welfare
Abstract: The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 required states to
increase welfare recipient employment and participation in welfare-to-work programs. These work
requirements are sometimes credited for bringing about large employment increases among single
mothers. However, this paper finds that employment among single mothers who were exempted from
work requirements because they had young children rose as much as that of other single mothers. The
results imply that the employment gains among single mothers in the late 1990s were due to economic
growth and other policy changes rather than to the work requirements.
Full paper (994 KB PDF)
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Last update: November 18, 2003