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Meta-Analysis of Welfare-to-Work Programs, 2002-2005

Project Overview

This study, the Meta-Analysis of Welfare-to-Work Programs, analyzed the results of welfare-to-work demonstrations carried out since 1982. The purpose was to determine how impacts in those demonstrations are related to a wide range of variables, including the nature of the treatment, and to such background variables as the demographic and economic factors at the demonstration sites.

The major research question was to determine how a variety of factors such as the treatment, as well as demographic and economic circumstances influenced the impact in welfare-to-work demonstrations. The study estimated the impact of various treatment policies and of demographic and economic conditions on earnings and other outcome variables. The purpose of answering such questions is to be able estimate the impact of implementing a particular welfare-to-work treatment at a particular time and place. In addition to the impact on earnings, this study also attempted to estimate what factors influence the impact on child well being.

The study analyzed the results of welfare-to-work demonstrations carried out since 1982 that were evaluated through the use of experimental methodologies (i.e., random assignment of recipients to a treatment or control group).

This study was carried out using meta-analysis. A meta-analysis employs regression analysis applied to studies already completed. In this study the dependent variable in the regression is the impact of the treatment on the outcome variable, and the independent variables consist of treatment variables, demographic variables and economic variables.

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