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Boom or bust analyzing the impact of economic climate on welfare reform in Georgia /

by (Robert Douglas), 1966- Weaver

Abstract (Summary)
Legislative justification for nation-wide welfare reform efforts is channeled through the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which was passed by the Clinton Administration in 1996. The late 1990s was a period of sizzling economic growth throughout America, so it is not surprising that welfare reform resulted in a historically unprecedented drop in the welfare rolls. For the last two years the American economy has slumped, however, and several states, including Georgia, are reporting increases in their welfare caseloads. In 2003, staff from the Georgia Welfare Reform Research Project conducted the third wave of data collection for this longitudinal panel study. In this dissertation, utilizing Wave III data as well as relevant secondary data, the author constructed a logistic regression model to determine the extent to which economic climate, operationalized through county unemployment rates, impacted the employment status of a stratified random sample of Georgia’s TANF population. Included in the logistic regression model were other independent variables such as the participants’ health status, transportation status, and level of education. Statistical tests were conducted on the entire sample as well as on subsamples of participants divided by the particular geographic region, or strata, within which they resided. The study’s findings indicated that ownership of an operational vehicle was a significant predictor of employment for the state’s rural residents, while unemployment rates and the other tested variables played a negligible role. Following a consideration of the policy implications emanating from the study’s findings, recommendations for future studies were also provided, including determining what factors may affect the likelihood that former welfare recipients participating in the formal economy can exit poverty.
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School:The University of Georgia

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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