Innovation at the State Level: Initial Effects of Welfare Reform in Iowa

Shao-Hsun Keng, Steven B. Garasky, Helen H. Jensen
November 1999  [99-WP 232]

In 1993, the State of Iowa reformed its welfare program by creating the Family Investment Program (FIP), a program designed to help its participants achieve economic self-sufficiency. This paper examines the experiences of individuals and families who leave FIP. Specifically, the study explores why some low-income households successfully leave public assistance, while others who leave later return. The study shows that in Iowa, the FIP has been relatively successful in supporting the transition of those leaving the program, and that income is a key determinant of participation and ability to stay off public assistance programs.

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