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The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States

Mary Reintsma, Department of Economics, Trinity University, Washington, DC, US
The welfare system in the United States underwent profound changes as a result of the groundbreaking welfare legislation passed in 1996 entitled The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States examines in detail the legislative process that gave rise to PRWORA and presents two alternative theories to explain this process; the traditional public interest model of government and the public choice model. On the basis of a detailed historical analysis of welfare programs and policies in the US, the author explains the two alternative theories and engages in a detailed institutional and statistical analysis to make a convincing argument for the validity of the public choice paradigm.
Extent: 232 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84376 133 4
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Welfare Economics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Choice
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Economics of Social Policy
  • Welfare States
The welfare system in the United States underwent profound changes as a result of the groundbreaking welfare legislation passed in 1996 entitled The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States examines in detail the legislative process that gave rise to PRWORA and presents two alternative theories to explain this process; the traditional public interest model of government and the public choice model. On the basis of a detailed historical analysis of welfare programs and policies in the US, the author explains the two alternative theories and engages in a detailed institutional and statistical analysis to make a convincing argument for the validity of the public choice paradigm.

Mary Reintsma’s book reveals how the outcome of any legislation is highly dependent on the input of interest groups and the interactions of such groups with those responsible for passing the legislation.

The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States will appeal to academics and researchers involved in public sector economics, public choice theory and welfare economics reform.
Contents: Introduction 1. Social Welfare Policy – Overview of Major Issues 2. Comparative Social Welfare Policy – A Look at the Evolution of Welfare Policies in Europe 3. Traditional Public Interest Model 4. The Public Choice Perspective 5. Government and its Bureaucracy 6. The Origins of the New Welfare Law – A Historical Overview 7. The Genesis of the New Welfare Law – The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (PL 104–193) 8. Institutional Analysis 9. An Econometric Analysis of the Variables Affecting Changes in Welfare Caseloads 10. Conclusions Bibliography Index