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Summaries of RCT Grants

A long-term follow-up of two welfare reform randomized trials from the 1990s, measuring effects on parent and child outcomes 15 to 24 years after study entry

These and other welfare reform experiments were conducted by MDRC to identify strategies to improve the self-sufficiency and economic well-being of welfare recipients by helping them find jobs, advance in employment, and leave public assistance.

Grant Recipient: The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley

Principal Investigators: Hilary Hoynes, Ph.D., University of California Berkeley

Jordan Matsudaira, Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University

Term: 2020 - 2024

Funding: $348,605

Abstract: This project will fund the long-term follow-up of two welfare reform randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted by MDRC in the 1990s – specifically, (i) the Portland JOBS program RCT (which was part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies, or NEWWS), conducted from 1991 to 1994; and (ii) the Connecticut Jobs First demonstration project, conducted from 1996 to 2000.

These and other welfare reform experiments were conducted by MDRC to identify strategies to improve the self-sufficiency and economic well-being of welfare recipients by helping them find jobs, advance in employment, and leave public assistance. The Portland and Connecticut programs were selected for long-term follow-up because of their large impacts within five years of random assignment. The Portland JOBS RCT, which had a sample of over 4,000 welfare recipients, found very large impacts on employment and earnings over the five years after random assignment. The Connecticut Jobs First RCT, which had a sample of approximately 4,800 welfare recipients, found a substantial impact on family income over the two years after random assignment.

Under this project, the researchers will partner with MDRC to measure the long-term, inter-generational impacts of these welfare reform programs on important outcomes such as earnings and employment of the participants and their children, 15 to 24 years after random assignment. The researchers will use data from MDRC and Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) to estimate the long-term impact of these programs.

The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

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