In May of 1998, the Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) was introduced in Kentucky as a means of aiding welfare recipients to achieve self-sufficiency by offering lump-sum payments to those who wished to relocate to seek or accept employment. Unlike other relocation assistance programs, this program provides moving assistance to welfare clients rather than to unemployed persons or dislocated workers. We relate this program to other relocation programs as well as to the UI bonus experiments.


Even before the advent of welfare reform, studies of low income working and welfare dependent groups showed that low wage working women are worse off than those who combine welfare with other income sources and that most used a wide variety of livelihood strategies. This is especially the case in poor rural settings where work is scarce and additional obstacles to employment such as lack of transportation and childcare are endemic.

An extensive literature debates the causes and consequences of the desegregation of American schools in the twentieth century. Despite the social importance of desegregation and the magnitude of the literature, we have lacked a comprehensive accounting of the basic facts of school desegregation. This paper uses newly assembled data to document when and how Southern school districts desegregated, as well as the extent of court involvement in the desegregation process over the two full decades after Brown vs. Board of Education.

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has proven to be the most effective anti-poverty program for working low-income families in the United States. Established in 1975 to offset payroll taxes and to provide a modest supplement to low wages, the EITC is now a $40 billion program serving over 20 million Americans.

Despite the health benefits of participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), many eligible households do not participate in WIC during pregnancy and others exit WIC after a child turns one year old. This research uses the first two waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to advance our understanding of these transitions into and out of WIC.

While most economic development research views poverty as a sign of need for development or poverty reduction as an outcome of successful development, this study treats poverty as an independent variable alongside contemporary measures of innovation capacity that reflect state potential for economic development, examining the combined impact of poverty and innovation capacity on economic development outcomes. The study examines the effect poverty has on economic development outcomes given levels of innovation capacity, and the effect poverty has on formation of state innovation capacity.

In two recent cases involving the University of Michigan, the Supreme Court examined whether race should be allowed to play an explicit role in the admission decisions of schools. The primary argument in these court cases and others has been that racial diversity strengthens the quality of education offered to all students. Underlying this argument is the notion that educational benefits arise if interactions between students of different races improve preparation for life after college by, among other things, fostering mutual understanding and correcting misperceptions.


The minimum wage is among the more hotly debated public policies in the United States, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky is no exception. Supporters point to the anti-poverty and social justice benefits of the minimum wage, while opponents point to the costs of possible labor-market dislocation and undesirability of government intervention in private markets. As background for the ensuing discussion it is instructive to examine how the poorest Kentuckians and the typical Kentuckian have fared in recent years in terms of economic status.

This study contrasts partial and full family work sanctions by examining their administration in Texas, a state that initially imposed a partial benefit sanction, and then changed to full benefit sanctions. Using administrative fair hearing data, this study uses a qualitative research design to examine how full and partial sanctions may differ, and how front line workers administer both types of sanctions.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, many state governments, particularly in the South and West, began to subsidize kindergartens for the first time. These initiatives generated wide variation across states over time in the supply of seats for five year olds in public schools. This paper uses the staggered timing and age-targeting of these preschool expansions to examine how the provision of universal child care through public schools affects maternal labor supply. I find that single women with five year olds but no younger children were more likely to be employed once kindergartens were available.