CHOOSING AMONG ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS FOR POOR CHILDREN

Authors
Citation
Jm. Currie, CHOOSING AMONG ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS FOR POOR CHILDREN, The Future of children, 7(2), 1997, pp. 113-131
Citations number
53
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Heath Policy & Services","Family Studies
Journal title
ISSN journal
1054-8289
Volume
7
Issue
2
Year of publication
1997
Pages
113 - 131
Database
ISI
SICI code
1054-8289(1997)7:2<113:CAAPFP>2.0.ZU;2-D
Abstract
Many public programs serve poor children. By setting budgets, benefit levels, and program rules, policymakers decide how many children will receive benefits and which benefits they will receive. Making these ch oices in a rational way is difficult, given the noncomparability of di fferent types of program benefits and the limited information availabl e about the effects these programs have on poor children. This article suggests four criteria (efficiency, return on investment, incentives, and equity) for evaluating and comparing public programs for poor chi ldren, and provides an overview of the patchwork of information that i s currently available about the effects of eight large federal program s using these criteria. Some broad themes emerge. First, several progr ams that target specific benefits directly to children have been shown to have positive effects on a range of outcomes. Second, even before the current round of welfare reform, the mix of federal support availa ble to poor children had changed in a way that put more emphasis on pr oviding benefits in kind. Finally, more must be learned about the effe cts of programs for poor children before sweeping policy recommendatio ns can be made. This article concludes with policy recommendations tha t can be supported by the available evidence.