urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Assessing the New Federalism

a woman and child

Changing research focus:
Federalism to Private/Public Context

The Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism Project closely followed struggling families over the past decade as many left welfare—first in a booming economy, then through a recession, and now in a period when wages have stagnated and health insurance costs have skyrocketed.

Building on more than a decade of ANF research, ANF has changed focus to become the new Low-Income Working Families project. While ANF studied public safety-net programs as they shifted largely from the federal government to the states and from cash welfare to work supports, the new project spotlights the private and public sector context for families' success or failure.


Low-Income Working Families

The Low-Income Working Families project applies rigorous research methods to track families over time and to analyze the risks these families face. It incorporates crosscutting research expertise, from housing to health care and labor markets, honed at the Urban Institute over the past 40 years.
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Assessing the New Federalism—Eight Years Later

Dramatic changes have occurred for low-income families, those who have been on welfare and those who haven't, from the mid-1990s to the present. Assessing the New Federalism—Eight Years Later synthesizes much of what we've learned so far through an intensive research effort, including a national survey of 40,000 American families, case studies, budgetary analysis, and a database of evolving state welfare rules.
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