The Consequences of Decentralization: Inequality in Safety Net Provision in the Post–Welfare Reform Era

  title={The Consequences of Decentralization: Inequality in Safety Net Provision in the Post–Welfare Reform Era},
  author={Sarah K. Bruch and Marcia k. Meyers and Janet C. Gornick},
  journal={Social Service Review},
  pages={3 - 35}
Decentralized safety net programs provide much of the social provision in the US, yet the consequences for social provision have received remarkably limited attention. In this article, we examine cross-state inequality in social safety net provision from 1994 to 2014. We ask whether programs that are more decentralized in terms of policy design are more variable across states in terms of the generosity of benefits and inclusiveness of receipt and whether there has been convergence or divergence… 

The U.S. Safety Net since the Great Recession: Trends and Reforms, 2007-2017.

Examination of key policy changes and indicators of caseloads, inclusion, and generosity for three antipoverty policies: the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Earned Income Tax Credit from 2007 to 2017 shows a continuation of market-oriented U.S. antipoverty policy.

Effective Policies for Single-Parent Families and Prospects for Policy Reforms in the United States: Concluding Reflections

This conclusion engages two questions catalyzed by the articles in this volume. First, which policies are effective in reducing economic hardship among single-parent families overall and minimizing

Hierarchies in the Decentralized Welfare State: Prioritization in the Housing Choice Voucher Program

Social provision in the United States is highly decentralized. Significant federal and state funding flows to local organizational actors, who are granted discretion over how to allocate resources to

The Effect of Administrative Burden on State Safety‐Net Participation: Evidence from SNAP, TANF and Medicaid

Background: Administrative burden, especially in social welfare programs, is increasingly being recognized as a significant challenge to policy implementation, tacitly denying many eligible

Regulative Structure of Locally Distributed Benefit Schemes and Inter-municipal Inequality: The Case of Estonia

Studies of locally distributed social policy schemes, their central-local regulations and outcomes have mostly focused on single benefit schemes. However, the landscape of local social policy and

Federal Welfare Time-Limit Extensions and Exemptions: Why Does Utilization Vary across States and over Time?

Establishing public cash assistance as a time-limited benefit was a key and controversial feature of the 1996 welfare reform legislation. Many advocates and practitioners consider the formalization

From employment optional to “Employment First”: Explaining two cases of state-level disability policy change

Over the last three decades, the United States has increasingly devolved social policy decisions from the federal to the state level. These changes have resulted in substantial variation in policy

Public income transfers and wealth accumulation at the bottom: Within and between country differences in Canada and the United States

Both Canada and the United States are considered liberal welfare states, yet exhibit notable differences in income poverty attributed to social policy. While a more generous welfare system lifts many

Regulating the Risk of Debt: Exemption Laws and Economic Insecurity across U.S. States, 1986–2012

Increasing indebtedness puts American households at risk of defaulting on loans and having their wages and property seized to repay delinquent debts. Although all U.S. states protect certain assets



Convergence towards where: in what ways, if any, are welfare states becoming more similar?

This article examines whether or not OECD welfare states have converged since 1980. Making use of a variety of concepts of convergence, we analyse the development of a broad range of quantitative

Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race

"Disciplining the Poor" lays out the underlying logic of contemporary poverty governance in the United States. The authors argue that poverty governance - how social welfare policy choices get made,

Punishment Policy in the American States from 1890 to 2008: Convergence, Divergence, Synchronous Change, and Feed‐Forward Effects

This analysis of the patterns of change in the use of incarceration by the American states from 1890 through 2008 focuses on multiple themes particularly relevant to an understanding of policy arenas

Making Something Out of Nothing: Welfare Reform and a New Race to the Bottom

The 1996 welfare-reform law has been characterized as a significant act of devolution. For some, this devolution will free states to become "laboratories of democracy" that develop better welfare

Fragmented Welfare States: Federal Institutions and the Development of Social Policy

Despite political scientists' growing appreciation of the ways in which institutions influence political processes, the “new institutionalism” has so far had a limited impact on the comparative study

Poverty and Local Governments: Economic Development and Community Service Provision in an Era of Decentralization

Social scientists have given substantial attention to poverty across U.S. localities. However, most work views localities through the lens of population aggregates, not as units of government. Few

Fighting "Big Government": Frames, Federalism, and Social Policy Reform in the United States

<p>In recent decades, historical institutionalism has contributed to the political and sociological analysis of public policy. While drawing on this fruitful theoretical approach, this article argues

The devil may be in the details: how the characteristics of SCHIP programs affect take-up.

  • B. WolfeScott Scrivner
  • Economics
    Journal of policy analysis and management : [the journal of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management]
  • 2005
In this paper, we explore whether the specific design of a state's program has contributed to its success in meeting two objectives of the Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP): increasing the

Impacts of Intergovernmental Financial Incentives on State Welfare Policymaking and Interstate Equity

Welfare policy in the United States is strongly influenced by intergovernmental factors. This analysis traces the effects of federalfinancial incentives on state welfare policy decisions across

The Politics of Competitive Federalism: A Race to the Bottom in Welfare Benefits?

tion in benefit changes across the states. This article argues that a more accurate specification of welfare politics focuses on the presence or absence of actual legislated payment increases in the