Seeks to empirically connect privatization to TANF program outcomes through multi-level models that incorporate and estimate both individual-level and contextual factors within the state of Florida.

Privatization in the implementation of social welfare programs represents a relatively unexplored administrative strategy and little remains known of its origins and consequences. After briefly exploring the antecedents of welfare contracting across the American states, this research utilizes multi-level modeling techniques to examine the consequences of privatization on the employment outcomes of welfare clients. The quantitative findings indicate that privatizing welfare services is not an administrative panacea in that the quality of client-level employment outcomes are seldom improved under private sector arrangements. There is also scant evidence of predatory behavior among private sector welfare providers. Historically disadvantaged African American and low-educated welfare clients are no worse off under profit seekers and are potentially achieving superior outcomes under non-profit administration. (Abstractor: Website staff)

Full publication title: Privatization and Employment in the Implementation of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): A Multi-Level Analysis


Major Findings & Recommendations

"The likelihood of participating in full-time work activities or the likelihood of leaving TANF due to employment was no more likely in for-profit and non-profit settings than in public settings" (p.53). (Abstractor: Author).