Income Security Policy Paper No. 20

Exploring the Effect of Welfare Reform Implementation on the Attainment of Policy Goals: An Examination of Michigan's Counties

Jodi Sandfort 

April 1999 

Abstract:  This paper presents a cross-sectional examination of the implementation conditions within Michigan during the first year following the passage of federal welfare reform. It asks the question, "Do implementation factors in the welfare system quantitatively influence the achievement of public policy goals?" Drawing on data from 82 counties, this analysis provides an exploratory, multivariate model that controls for environmental factors outside of the influence of program implementers and examines the effects of macro- and micro-implementation conditions on an outcome desired by policy reforms. The results suggest that implementation factors do have a statistically discernible relationship to proportion of a county's caseload that is combining welfare and work. Implications are considered both for the implementation of policy reforms and future research in this area.

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