Study Details for:
Hamilton, Gayle, Stephen Freedman, Lisa Gennetian, Charles Michalopoulos, Johanna Walter, Diana Adams-Ciardullo, Anna Gassman-Pines, Sharon McGroder, Martha Zaslow, Jennifer Brooks, and Surjeet Ahluwalia (2001). National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies—How effective are different welfare-to-work approaches? Five-year adult and child impacts for eleven programs, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; and U.S. Department of Education. [Oklahoma City—ET & E]

Study URL: http://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/full_391.pdf (Link not working?)

Evaluation: National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS)

Program Studied: Oklahoma City (Education, Training, and Employment (ET&E) program)
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

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

Populations Targeted Parents, Single parents, Welfare population
Setting Urban only
Services Provided Case management, Education, Financial incentives or sanctions, Job development/job placement, Occupational or sectoral training, On-the-job training, Soft skills training, Subsidized employment or transitional jobs, Supportive services, Training, Unpaid work experience, Work experience, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Short-term employment, Long-term employment, Short-term earnings, Long-term earnings, Favorable Impacts FoundShort-term benefit receipt, Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term benefit receipt

Findings

Toggle Short-term employmentShort-term employment
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Ever employed, year 1, %
Adjusted mean = 50.9 Adjusted mean = 51.6 -0.7 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 8,677 UI records, year 1
Toggle Long-term employmentLong-term employment
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Ever employed, year 5, %
Adjusted mean = 53.2 Adjusted mean = 54.2 -1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 8,677 UI records, year 5

Employed in all 4 quarters of year 5, %
Adjusted mean = 19.4 Adjusted mean = 18.7 0.7 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 8,677 UI records, year 5
Toggle Short-term earningsShort-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Earnings, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 1,404 Adjusted mean = 1,387 16 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 8,677 UI records, year 1
Toggle Long-term earningsLong-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Earnings, year 5, $
Adjusted mean = 3,597 Adjusted mean = 3,498 100 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 8,677 UI records, year 5
Toggle Short-term benefit receiptShort-term benefit receipt
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing
1 Negative impact is favorable.

Welfare receipt in last quarter of year 1, %1
Adjusted mean = 50.1 Adjusted mean = 53.1 -3.1 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 6,896 Welfare records, year 1
Toggle Long-term benefit receiptLong-term benefit receipt
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing
1 Negative impact is favorable.

Total welfare payment received, years 1-3, $1
Adjusted mean = 4,532 Adjusted mean = 4,822 -290 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 6,896 Welfare records, year 3

Total Food Stamps amount, years 1-3, $
Adjusted mean = 4,887 Adjusted mean = 4,988 -100 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Oklahoma City sample 6,896 Food Stamps records, year 3

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail The study only examined single parents. Almost all sample members were females (93.1 percent), 34.3 percent were never married, 9.8 percent were teen parents (under age 19), and about two-thirds had preschool-aged children. About two-thirds were white, 29.2 percent were black. More than half (55.1 percent) had a high school diploma or GED at the time of random assignment. The sample was relatively advantaged compared with other programs in the NEWWS evaluation because it included cash assistance applicants (some of whom may not have qualified for benefits).
Program Services The Education, Training, and Employment program focused on providing education and training to support future employment. Clients could choose their placements (a case manager approved their selection), and there was no limit on the duration of program services. However, case managers encouraged clients to augment their education.
Clients could participate in a “life skills” workshop, search for jobs, or enroll in classes. The program referred clients to basic education (adult basic education, GED certificate courses, or English as a Second Language courses), vocational skills training, or college. Clients ready for employment worked with job developers to prepare for employment and to be matched to jobs. Clients could also be assigned to work experiences such as unpaid work, on-the-job training, or private sector employment funded by clients’ cash assistance grant. Finally, the program offered clients reimbursement for child care expenses and transportation expenses.

Case managers could sanction nonparticipating clients but did not monitor participation closely or necessarily request sanctions in all cases of nonparticipation.
Program Duration There was no limit on the time that clients could stay in an activity.
Comparison Services People in the control group could not receive any program services but were also not subject to participation requirements (and therefore the risk of nonparticipation sanctions) for program services or employment. These clients could, however, participate in employment-related activities available in their communities.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation The study used a random assignment research design. When an individual applied for cash assistance at the welfare office, a case manager assessed the client's eligibility for participation in the evaluation. Heads of single-parent households were eligible for the study if they satisfied the following criteria: (1) had not received AFDC in Oklahoma within the past 60 days, (2) their children were over age one, and (3) they were not members of the Sac and Fox Native American tribes. Applicants age 16 to 19 were eligible if they did not have a high school diploma or GED, even if their youngest child was under age one. The random assignment process began in September 1991 and ended in May 1993.

The study randomly assigned only welfare applicants (i.e., persons in the process of applying for welfare), including those whose application for assistance was not yet approved.
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the raw mean differences between the groups, adjusted for baseline demographics.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The authors reported employment, earnings, and public benefit receipt outcomes for time points and variable definitions that are not the focus of this review.
Subgroups Studied Education level; welfare history; level of disadvantage; race/ethnicity
Other Domains Examined None
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The study took place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Timing of Study Individuals were randomly assigned between September 1991 and May 1993. The evaluation followed participants for two years.
Study Funding The NEWWS evaluation was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation), and by the U.S. Department of Education.
Study URL http://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/full_391.pdf