, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 483–501 | Cite as

Subsidized vehicle acquisition and earned income in the transition from welfare to work

  • Marilyn T. Lucas
  • Charles F. Nicholson


Availability and affordability of reliable transportation – either through public transportation or individual ownership of automobiles – appears necessary to support a successful transition from welfare to work. One approach adopted by state and local governments is to subsidize vehicle acquisition by welfare recipients in transition. To date there are no empirical studies that analyze the impacts or effectiveness of these vehicle subsidy programs. The objective of this study is to examine the extent to which participation in a small-scale vehicle donation-and-sales program in Vermont increases earned income by individuals in transition from welfare to work. Using reduced-form random effects and censored regression models to account for the simultaneity of decisions to work and participate in welfare programs, we examine the impacts of this vehicle acquisition program for a small group of individuals. Our analyses indicate that the program results in a statistically significant increase in both earned income and the probability of employment.

program evaluation vehicle donation-and-sales program welfare-to-work 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Balestra P (1996) Introduction to Linear Models for Panel Data. In Matyas L & Severstre P (eds) The Econometrics of Panel Data. A Handbook of Theory with Applications (2nd rev. ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. [Advanced Studies in Theoretical and Applied Econometrics, No. 33].Google Scholar
  2. Becker GS (1964) Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  3. Blumenberg E and Haas P (2001) The Travel Behavior and Needs of the Poor: A Study of Welfare Recipients in Fresno County, California. Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University, December. (MTI Report 01-23)Google Scholar
  4. Cervero R, Sandoval O & Landis J (1999) The Value of Transportation in Stimulating Welfareto-Work Transitions: Evidence from San Francisco. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.Google Scholar
  5. Dewees S (1998) The Drive to Work: Transportation Issues and Welfare Reform in Rural Areas. Southern Rural Development Center Information Brief 5.Google Scholar
  6. Garasky S & Barnow BS (1992) Demonstration evaluations and cost neutrality: using caseload models to determine the Federal cost neutrality of New Jersey's REACH demonstration. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 11(2): 624–636.Google Scholar
  7. Greene W (2000) Econometric Analysis. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  8. Grogger J (2001) The Effects of Time Limits and Other Policy Changes on Welfare Use, Work and Income Among Female-Headed Families. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. [Working Paper 8153]Google Scholar
  9. Grogger J & Michalopoulos C (1999) Welfare Dynamics under Time Limits. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research. [Working Paper No. 7353]Google Scholar
  10. Heckman JJ & Hotz VJ (1989) Choosing among alternative nonexperimental methods for estimating the impact of social programs: the case of manpower training. Journal of the American Statistical Association 84(408): 862–874.Google Scholar
  11. Hogwood BW & Dunn LA (1984) Policy Analysis for the Real World. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kaplan A (1997) Transportation and welfare reform. Welfare Information Network's Issue Notes 1(4).Google Scholar
  13. Kaplan A (1998) Transportation: the essential need to address the to in welfare-to-work. Welfare Information Network's Issue Notes 2(10).Google Scholar
  14. Klattiwer M, Plotnick RD & Evans ME (2000) Determinants of initial entry onto welfare by young women. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 19(4): 527–546.Google Scholar
  15. KFH Group (1998) Vermont Statewide Intercity Bus Study. Google Scholar
  16. Loeb S & Cochran M (2001) Welfare, work experience, and economic self-sufficiency. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 20(1): 1–20.Google Scholar
  17. Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (1997) Evaluating Two Welfare-to-Work Program Approaches: Two-year Findings on the Labor Force Attachment and Human Capital Development Programs in Three Sites. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Education.Google Scholar
  18. Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (1998) Evaluating Two Welfare-to-Work Program Approaches: Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Two-Year Impacts of the Portland (Oregon) Welfare-to-Work Program. Washington, DC.: US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Education.Google Scholar
  19. Mark MM, Henry GT & Julnes G (2000) Evaluation: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Guiding and Improving Policies and Programs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  20. McDonald JF & Moffitt RA (1980) The Uses of Tobit Analysis. Review of Economics and Statistics 62(2): 318–321.Google Scholar
  21. Minton E (1999) On the road again. Planning 65(9): 4–8.Google Scholar
  22. Moffitt R (1992) Incentive effects of the US welfare system: a review. Journal of Economic Literature 30: 1–61.Google Scholar
  23. Multisystems, Inc. (2000) Guidebook for Developing Welfare-to-Work Transportation Services. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. [Transit Cooperative Research Program Report 64]Google Scholar
  24. National Association of Development Organizations (1998) 1998 NADO Rural Transportation Survey Results. Washington, DC: NADO.Google Scholar
  25. Ong P (2002) Car ownership and welfare-to-work. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 21(2): 239–252.Google Scholar
  26. Ong P and Blumenberg E (1998) Job access, commute and travel burden among welfare recipients. Urban Studies 35(1): 77–93.Google Scholar
  27. Seninger SF (1999) Evaluating participation and employment outcomes in a welfare-to-work program. Evaluation and Program Planning 21(1): 73–79.Google Scholar
  28. Tobin J (1958) Estimation of relationships for limited dependent variables. Econometrica 26(1): 4–36.Google Scholar
  29. Vermont Agency of Transportation (VAT; 2000) Vermont's Public Transportation Policy Plan. Montpelier.Google Scholar
  30. Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI; 2003) Transportation Demand Management Encyclopedia. Victoria, British Columbia.Google Scholar
  31. Wolkomir R. & Wolkomir J (1999) Good news garage: at last, a repair shop where drivers get working wheels and the keys to their future. Smithsonian 29(11): 92–100.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn T. Lucas
    • 1
  • Charles F. Nicholson
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Business Administration –The University of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Applied Economics and Management – Warren HallCornell UniversityIthacaUSA, E-mail

Personalised recommendations