Poverty

Implementing Work Requirements in Wisconsin

Implementing Work Requirements in Wisconsin
Journal of Public Policy, vol. 21, no. 3 (2002). Cambridge University Press

Mead, L.
06/01/2001

When Western counties seek to reform welfare so that recipients have to work in return for aid, this poses implementation as well as policy problems. This study of work requirements in Wisconsin illustrates the challenges. It also confirms success of a top-down model of implementation. Wisconsin’s welfare work programs had little impact on dependency through the mid 1980s because work was not a priority and work programs were underdeveloped. From 1985–6, however, the state increased funding and built up the employment bureaucracy. It required that more recipients participate in work programs, enter jobs rather than education, and avoid welfare if possible. It attuned the bureaucracy to its goals through funding incentives. These measures along with strong economic conditions then drove the welfare rolls down, with largely good effects. Wisconsin’s achievement rested on its good-government traditions. Not all regimes have the same capacity.

Child Development and Public Policy: Toward a Dynamic Systems Perspective

Child Development and Public Policy: Toward a Dynamic Systems Perspective
Child DevelopmentM, Volume 72, pp. 1887-1903,

Yoshikawa, H. & Hsueh, J..
01/01/2001

Little theoretical work exists that proposes general mechanisms for how public policies may influence child development. This article argues that dynamic systems theories may be useful in illuminating such processes, as well as highlighting gaps in current research at the intersection of public policy analysis and developmental science. A brief review of dynamic systems theories as they are currently utilized in other areas of developmental science is provided, as well as a statement of why they may help advance research in public policy and child development. Five principles of dynamic systems theories are presented and discussed using examples from research that address the question, "How do current antipoverty and welfare reform policies affect children?" Also presented are examples of hypotheses and research questions that each principle may generate for future work. The concluding section presents challenges that each principle poses for research methodology, and potential uses of the dynamic systems approach for developing and integrating policy and program initiatives.

Microenterprise Development for Better Health Outcomes

Microenterprise Development for Better Health Outcomes
Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

Rodriguez-Garcia, R., Macinko, J. & Waters, W.
01/01/2001

Showing that economic development and public health, often thought of as distinct, are both interdependent and dependent on social and political conditions, this book provides a new appreciation of the close relationship between microenterprise development and health in developing countries. Many of the world's poor earn a living from microenterprises, often outside the formal economy, and international practitioners have recently turned their attention to this underground economy, providing support through group poverty lending and village banking models, but overlooking the potential benefits of linking income generation with public health. This book argues for a conceptual and practical relationship between microenterprise development and household health, nutrition, and sanitation. To support their framework, the authors look at specific actions for harnessing the power of microeconomic development to improve health and human development. They support their argument further with case studies of innovative programs carried out in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The book challenges the reader to cross disciplinary and professional boundaries to not only understand the interrelationships between health and income generation but to use available tools to enhance those interrelationships.

Thinking About Children in Time.

Thinking About Children in Time.
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries. Edited by Bradbury, D. and S. Jenkins, J. Micklewright. Cambridge University Press.

Aber, J.L. & Ellwood, D.T.
01/01/2001

A child poverty rate of ten percent could mean that every tenth child is always poor, or that all children are in poverty for one month in every ten. Knowing where reality lies between these extremes is vital to understanding the problem facing many countries of poverty among the young. This unique study goes beyond the standard analysis of child poverty based on poverty rates at one point in time and documents how much movement into and out of poverty by children there actually is, covering a range of industrialised countries - the USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Russia. Five main topics are addressed: conceptual and measurement issues associated with a dynamic view of child poverty; cross-national comparisons of child poverty rates and trends; cross-national comparisons of children's movements into and out of poverty; country-specific studies of child poverty dynamics; and the policy implications of taking a dynamic perspective.

Urban Health: Is the City Infected?

Urban Health: Is the City Infected?
Medicine and Humanity. London: King's Fund,

Rodwin, V.G.
01/01/2001

The city is, at once, a center for disease and poor health and also a place for hope, cures and good health. From the earliest times, the city has attracted the poor and been the target of the plague, as well as war. Likewise, the health care industry has always been part of the economic base of cities - from Lourdes, in France, to Rochester, Minnesota, to megacities around the world. With its highly disproportionate share of health resources, e.g., hospitals, physicians, nurses and social services, the big city is a center of excellence in medicine. Yet, as Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet once noted, "For all of its rational efficiency and benevolent intent, the city is likely to be the death of us." Are cities socially infected breeding grounds for disease? Or do they represent critical spatial entities for promotion of population health? I propose to begin with a global view of urban health and disease and the challenge this poses for public health today. Next, I examine some evidence for the hypothesis that population health in cities is relatively poor. Finally, I suggest that the more pertinent question is not whether the city is unhealthy or healthy but rather the extent to which we can alleviate the problems posed by inequalities of income and wealth - in the city as well as outside of it.

Wealth and Poverty in America: A Reader

Wealth and Poverty in America: A Reader
(Edited, with an Introduction) Oxford: Blackwell,

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

What does it mean to be poor in America at the dawn of the 21 st century? For that matter, what does it mean to be rich? And how are the two related to each other? These apparently simple questions present enormous theoretical and empirical challenges to any student or social scientist. Wealth and Poverty in America is a collection of over 20 important essays on the complex relationship between the rich and poor in the United States. The authors include classical and contemporary thinkers on a wide variety of topics such as economic systems, the lifestyles of the rich and poor, and public policy. An editorial introduction and suggestions for further reading make this a useful and valuable source of information and analysis on the realities of the American rich and American poor.

Why Assets? Toward a New Framework on Social Stratification

Why Assets? Toward a New Framework on Social Stratification
Ford Foundation Volume, The Mechanisms and Benefits of Spreading Asset Ownership among the Poor. Russell Sage Foundation,

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

Over the past three decades, average household wealth in the United States has declined among all but the richest families, with a near 80 percent drop among the nation's poorest families. Although the national debate about inequality has focused on income, it is wealth - the private assets amassed and passed on within families -- that provides the extra economic cushion needed to move beyond mere day-to-day survival. Assets for the Poor is a full-scale investigation into the importance of family wealth and the need for policies to encourage asset-building among the poor.

The Twilight of Liberal Welfare Reform

The Twilight of Liberal Welfare Reform
The Public Interest, no. 139 (Spring 2000)

Mead, L.
03/01/2000

Thirty years ago, welfare reform was a liberal issue. In the 1960s and 1970s, government planners proposed that cash welfare benefits be raised and extended to the entire low-income population. But those proposals were rejected, and since the 1970s, the welfare debate has turned sharply rightward: The goal today is more to reduce dependency than to relieve poverty. The most recent welfare reform, enacted by the Republican Congress in 1996, was very conservative. Partly due to it, the number of families on cash aid has fallen by half in the last five years.

Government's Greatest Achievements of the Past Half Century

Government's Greatest Achievements of the Past Half Century
Reform Watch Brief #2, The Brookings Institution, November

Light, P.C.
01/01/2000

Looking back from the edge of a new millennium, it is difficult not to be proud of what the federal government has tried to achieve these past fifty years. Name a significant domestic or foreign problem over the past half century and the federal government made some effort to solve it, sometimes through massive new programs such as Medicare and Apollo, other times through a string of smaller initiatives to address enduring problems such as disease and poverty. If a nation's greatness is measured in part by the kinds of problems it asks its government to solve, the United States measures up very well, indeed. The proof is in the federal statutes. All totaled, Congress passed more than 500 major laws between 1944 and 1999 to improve the quality of life in the nation and world. Judged not as individual programs but as part of larger endeavors, these statutes speak to the enormous range of federal engagement since World War II. Having emerged victorious from both the war and the Great Depression, Congress called upon the federal government to tackle a bold agenda worthy of the world�s greatest democracy, and provided the statutory authority to act. Convinced that government could do great things, the nation asked the federal government to do just that.

High School Size: The Effects on Budgets and Performance in New York City

High School Size: The Effects on Budgets and Performance in New York City
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Spring

Stiefel, L., Berne, R., Iatarola, P. & Fruchter, N.
01/01/2000

Combines budget and performance information to study the effects of high school size. Suggests that since small high schools are more effective for minority and poor students, and the budget per student is found to be similar for small and large schools, policymakers might support the creation of more small high schools. (SLD)

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