State spending on social assistance programs over the business cycle

Therese McGuire, David F. Merriman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


The passage in 1996 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) brought about a major change in the way the federal government and the states share financial responsibility for cash assistance and related welfare programs.1 Prior to PRWORA, the federal government provided a matching grant program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and was responsible for an average of fifty-five cents out of every dollar of AFDC spending. Since the passage of PRWORA, the federal government has given an annual block grant to the states for funding the AFDC replacement program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Our goals in this chapter are to review the history of federal and state spending on public welfare programs, focusing on the business cycles of the past twenty-five years, and to investigate whether state spending on public welfare programs has been affected by the meaningful change in funding brought about by PRWORA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorking and Poor
Subtitle of host publicationHow Economic and Policy Changes are Affecting Low-wage Workers
PublisherRussell Sage Foundation
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780871540751
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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