Welfare Reform in America

Perspectives and Prospects

  • Paul M. Sommers

Part of the Middlebury Conference Series on Economic Issues book series (MCSEI)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Political Economy of Welfare Reform

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. William P. Albrecht
      Pages 15-28
  3. Benchmarks

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 29-30
    2. Sheldon Danziger, Robert Plotnick
      Pages 31-52
  4. Implications of Current Programs for Reform Proposals

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-100
    2. J. Fred Giertz, Dennis H. Sullivan
      Pages 101-122
    3. James R. Hosek
      Pages 141-164
  5. Evaluating Next Steps

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-166
    2. Larry L. Orr, Felicity Skidmore
      Pages 167-186
    3. Robert H. Haveman
      Pages 187-208
    4. Robert A. Moffitt
      Pages 209-229
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 253-254

About this book


This is the second in a series of books growing out of the annual Mid­ dlebury College Conference on Economic Issues. The second confer­ ence, held in April 1980, focused on goals and realities of welfare reform. The objectives of the conference were threefold: (1) evaluation of the antipoverty effort so far; (2) discussion of welfare reform alternatives; and (3) prediction of how new initiatives would change work behavior and productivity. During the time this country has been engaged in a "war on poverty," two massive efforts to reform welfare, Richard M. Nixon's Family As­ sistance Plan (FAP) and Jimmy Carter's Program for Better Jobs and Income (PBJI), were proposed. Both defined national benefit levels and featured a negative income tax. Both measures were defeated in Congress. More modest efforts at reform have, however, changed the economic landscape. Because of the rapid growth in cash and in-kind transfer programs, income poverty is no longer the serious problem that it was in 1964. In fact, looking at the proliferation of programs and the substantial surge in participation rates, some politicians have even advocated a period of government retrenchment. In 1971, the governor of California vii viii INTRODUCTION proposed (and implemented) a major welfare reform in an attempt to stem the rapid growth of welfare caseloads that began in his state in 1967-68. He argued that savings from administrative improvements could be used to raise benefits for the "truly needy.


economy evaluation growth political economy poverty productivity welfare

Editors and affiliations

  • Paul M. Sommers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMiddlebury CollegeMiddleburyUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1982
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-009-7391-6
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-7389-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site