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Social Welfare II: The Politics of Welfare Reform · “Social Construction of Target Populations: Implications for Politics and Policy,” Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram, (June 1993).

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social welfare ii the politics of welfare reform

Social Welfare II: The Politics of Welfare Reform

· “Social Construction of Target Populations: Implications for Politics and Policy,” Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram, (June 1993).

· “Race Coding" and White Opposition to Welfare,” Martin Gilens. The American Political Science Review (Sep., 1996).

· “Setting the Terms of Relief: Explaining State Policy Choices in the Devolution Revolution,” Joe Soss; Sanford F. Schram; Thomas P. Vartanian; Erin O\'Brien American Journal of Political Science, (Apr., 2001).

explaining welfare retrenchment an examination of alternative theories of welfare provision
Explaining Welfare Retrenchment: An Examination of Alternative Theories of Welfare Provision
welfare
“Welfare”
  • Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) 1935-1996
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 1996-present
welfare reform
Welfare Reform
  • Significant changes in program requirements
    • Work requirements
    • Cooperation in paternity determination/child support
    • Sanctions for noncompliance
    • Family Cap
    • Time limits
a puzzle
A Puzzle?
  • What has caused these dramatic changes in welfare provision in the U.S.?
traditional theories of welfare state development
Traditional Theories of Welfare State Development
  • Accumulation of Knowledge
    • role of knowledge, information in the development of social welfare policy
    • as we have learned more about the scope and permanence of poverty, social welfare effort has increased
traditional theories of welfare state development9
Traditional Theories of Welfare State Development
  • Evolution of Citizenship (T.H. Marshall)
    • definition of “citizenship” inevitably proceeds through stages
      • Civil - basic freedoms and rights
      • Political - political enfranchisement
      • Social - broad range of socioeconomic rights
traditional theories of welfare state development10
Traditional Theories of Welfare State Development
  • Modernization (Wilensky)
    • development of social welfare linked to industrialization
      • Social problems
      • Economic capacity
alternative theories
Alternative Theories
  • Fiscal Capacity
  • Partisan Control
  • Public Opinion/Ideology
  • The “Race to the Bottom”
  • The “Failure” of AFDC
  • “Racial Politics”
what is the race to the bottom
What is the “Race to the Bottom” ?
  • “Welfare Magnet” Hypothesis:
    • Predicts that poor persons will migrate from states with low welfare benefits to those with more generous welfare policies
what is the race to the bottom13
What is the “Race to the Bottom” ?
  • Benefit Competition Hypothesis:
    • Predicts that states regularly compete with surrounding states to offer the least generous welfare assistance to try to discourage poor people from moving to their state (and thus avoid becoming “welfare magnets)
what is the race to the bottom14
What is the “Race to the Bottom” ?
  • Benefit Competition Hypothesis:
    • Potentially explains differences between U.S. welfare state compared to other Western democracies
    • Leads to less than desirable benefit levels
    • Used to justify call for uniform benefit levels set be federal government
    • What about decline in welfare generosity over time within U.S.?
what is the race to the bottom15
What is the “Race to the Bottom” ?
  • Residency requirements
    • The race to the bottom began in earnest after the 1969 Supreme Court decision which declared residency requirements unconstitutional
is there a race to the bottom18
Is there a Race to the Bottom?
  • Welfare magnet effect
    • Mixed evidence
  • Benefit competition effect
    • Most studies find a “neighbor effect”
    • Wide variation in magnitude of the effect
      • Decrease in neighbor benefit of $1 estimated to lead to decrease in a state’s benefit of anywhere between $.06 – $1.00
    • Not enough to explain most of the benefit decline
    • Can this explain welfare reform?
the racial politics of welfare retrenchment
The Racial Politics of Welfare Retrenchment
  • Schneider and Ingram – Policy outputs a function of two important characteristics of the target population:
  • The social construction of the target population (Deserving vs. Undeserving)
  • The political power of the target population (weak vs. strong)
the racial politics of welfare retrenchment21
The Racial Politics of Welfare Retrenchment
  • Social Constructions
    • Not all groups have a clear s.c.
    • Much of the politics of agenda setting concerns efforts to define and re-define prevailing social constructions of target populations
      • Often through re-defining the target population (example: Aids)
race and support for welfare the individual level
Race and Support for Welfare:The Individual Level
  • Evidence suggests that two racial attitudes among whites interact to affect attitudes about welfare:
    • Race of the target
    • Stereotypes about black work ethic
race and support for welfare the individual level24
Race and Support for Welfare:The Individual Level
  • Evidence suggests that perceptions of the target population for welfare programs have changed over the last few decades
  • Negative stereotypes of black/minority work ethic remain widespread
survey experiments and race of the target27
Survey Experiments and Race of the Target
  • Avery and Peffley (2003)
  • The results consistently showed that respondents who viewed the black image were more likely to:
  • Blame the woman for her condition
  • Think that she is less likely to look for a new job.
  • Believe that most people could get by without welfare.
racial politics and welfare policy
Racial Politics and Welfare Policy
  • Does this translate into public policy outcomes?
  • Does the percentage of welfare recipients that are black in a state lead to decreased welfare generosity in that state?
racial politics and welfare policy30
Racial Politics and Welfare Policy
  • Studies Finding a Relationship Between Racial Composition of Welfare Rolls and Welfare Benefits
    • Orr (1976)
    • Wright (1977)
    • Plotnick and Winters (1985)
    • Brown (1995)
    • Moffit, Ribar and Wilhelm (1998)
    • Howard (1999)
    • Bailey and Rom (2003)
racial politics and welfare policy31
Racial Politics and Welfare Policy
  • Magnitude of Racial Effect (From 1995)
    • State A (Average State)
      • African-American % = 33%
      • Maximum (monthly) AFDC Benefit = $600
    • State B (High African American%)
      • African-American % = 83%
      • Maximum (monthly) AFDC Benefit = $400
    • State C (Low African American%)
      • African-American % = 1%
      • Maximum (monthly) AFDC Benefit = $728
conclusions
Conclusions
  • The effect of race raises important questions about the structure and future of U.S. public assistance
    • Desirability of devolution vs. national standards
    • Increasing “racialization” of welfare (significance of “social construction of target population”)
    • Debates over representation
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