Study Details for:
Miller, Cynthia, Virginia Knox, Patricia Auspos, Jo Anna Hunger-Manns, and Alan Orenstein (1997). Making welfare work and work pay: Implementation and 18-month impacts of the Minnesota Family Investment Program, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [ MFIP versus AFDC, urban recipient two-parent families]

Study URL: (Link not working?)

Evaluation: Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

Program Studied: MFIP versus AFDC, urban recipient two-parent families
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

Strength of Evidence: 3-Low Low (1 of 3)

Populations Targeted Parents, Welfare population
Setting Urban only
Services Provided Education, Financial incentives or sanctions, Supportive services, Training, Work readiness activities


This study had a low evidence rating and the review has little confidence that its reported effects can be attributed to the approach it tested, so findings from this study are not listed.

Study Characteristics

Group Formation Between April 1994 and March 1996, public assistance applicant families and recipient families who entered a Financial Assistance Office in any of seven Minnesota counties to apply or re-apply for any of three assistance programs (Aid to Families with Dependent Children [ AFDC], Food Stamps, Family General Assistance) were randomly assigned to MFIP or AFDC programs. A total of 14,639 were randomly assigned. Single-parent families in Hennepin County were randomly assigned across two version of MFIP (normal MFIP and incentives only MFIP) and two versions of AFDC (normal AFDC and AFDC without services). Single-parent families in Anoka and Dakota Counties, the two other urban counties, were randomly assigned to normal MFIP, incentive-only MFIP, or normal AFDC. Single-parent families in four rural counties and two-parent families in all seven study counties were only assigned to normal MFIP and normal AFDC.

This study looked at impacts for 945 two-parent short- and long-term AFDC-recipient families randomly assigned to MFIP or AFDC by December 1994. It excluded families in rural counties who had only applied for Food Stamps (493) and a smaller randomly-selected subset of families (118) randomly assigned in December to adjust for a change in the proportion of families assigned to each group that month.
Strength of Evidence Description Low; the authors did not provide sufficient information to calculate attrition, so the review assumes attrition is high and therefore requires authors to demonstrate that groups were equivalent before the study began. However, the study did not examine the earnings history of study participants more than one year before the study began and cannot therefore satisfy the baseline equivalence requirements for this review.