Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin represent three distinct
paths to welfare reform. Minnesota has focused on promoting
work and reducing poverty and Wisconsin has emphasized the
reduction of welfare dependency. Michigan has adopted a program
model that is between these two approaches. While all
three states had large declines in caseloads between 1996 and
2003, Minnesota and Michigan appear to have been more successful
in decreasing child poverty. These state experiences are
representative of the nationwide trend where welfare reform
has contributed to decreases in welfare caseloads and increases
in employment, while it has much less consistently increased
income or decreased poverty.
Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN
Policy Brief: Welfare Reform. Three Paths to Welfare Reform in the Upper Midwest.
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