What Comes After Welfare Reform?
How we can ensure economic security, forall
J. Larry Brown and Larry W. Beeferman
The 1996 welfare reform legislation—the Personal Responsibility
and Work Opportunity Reform Act (PRWORA)—dramatically eliminated
a central component of the New Deal social policy framework. By replacing
the Aid to Families with Dependent Children "entitlement" program with
state block grants to provide Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
(TANF), it ended the federal government's long-standing commitment to
helping needy children. This new law expires in October 2002. The emerging
debate over its reauthorization presents the nation with a fundamental
policy choice: should we tinker with the new welfare policy at the margins,
or should we introduce a fundamentally different approach to the nation's
broader social policy framework.
We think that there is a compelling case in favor of a different approach.
All the major proponents of the 1996 changes (from the Clinton Administration
to key Republican leaders) agreed that the success of "welfare reform"
would not be determined by the number of people left on the welfare
rolls, but by improvement in the economic conditions of poor Americans.
By this standard, PRWORA has failed. Moreover, marginal reforms are
not going to remedy those failings. Welfare policy is really only one
part of a much larger issue, and the basic problem we face is not how
to reform the welfare system, but how to promote the long-term well-being
of all American households, including the welfare poor and the millions
of vulnerable working families only an income level or two above them.
To address this broader issue, we need some new ideas about economic
security—in particular, policies that emphasize asset development.
Whereas welfare policy has traditionally focused on income transfers
to people who are not earning income in the market, we need instead
to build an alternative policy framework that ensures that all Americans
have the assets they need to succeed economically.
The Politics of Welfare Reform
The 1996 policy change was the answer to a perceived "welfare problem,"
situated at the intersection of work and family, responsibility and
reward, race and the proper role of government, federal and state. By
the mid-1990s, national opinion polls indicated public support for fundamental
change. As a general matter, Americans recognized that individuals'
dependence on welfare had roots in both larger socioeconomic issues
and individual circumstances. They accepted that the government has
a duty—although perhaps not for an unlimited time—"to care
for those who cannot care for themselves." The public may have thought
that the government spent too much money on welfare, but probably because
it was not spending the money well. People were less concerned about
the size of the rolls than about recipients making an effort to help
themselves. They wanted to move recipients—even mothers of young
children—to work, but were more concerned about giving recipients
the skills they needed to be "self-sufficient," than about saving tax
money. Indeed, they expressed a willingness to pay more taxes for supports
such as child care and transportation. Public opinion also endorsed
time limits and work requirements, but paired them with support for
the provision of public sector or other jobs and exemption from the
limits where no job was assured.
Public opinion, then, supported reform, but did not determine its precise
contours. Instead, the 1996 reforms reflected a specific political landscape.
In 1996, welfare rolls had only recently ebbed from their historic peak,
so concerns about welfare were running high. Moreover, in 1992, Presidential
candidate Bill Clinton found political advantage by promising to "end
welfare as we know it." After the 1994 "Contract With America" congressional
elections, Clinton confronted a Republican congress that would make
him pay dearly if he did not keep his promise. To the dismay of erstwhile
supporters, he sacrificed job guarantees, training, and other supports
that had been his condition for agreeing to impose work obligations
and time limits. At the same time, many states had already received
regulatory waivers before Clinton took office, which permitted them
to run their systems with increased freedom from federal direction.
Apart from this political conjuncture, the debate in 1996 was also
driven by years of organized, sustained, and effective attacks on the
rationale for welfare and the outcomes ascribed to it. High out-of-wedlock
birth rates, it was argued, demonstrated irresponsibility in sexual
matters and social mores. Low rates of child support among single-parent
families indicated a failure of parental responsibility. Long-term receipt
of welfare benefits became associated with a desire to sit at home rather
than to make a productive contribution at work. Some critics even argued—largely
contrary to empirical evidence—that welfare was self-defeating,
and even spurred family break-ups. These arguments were given special
cogency by race-based assumptions about who were the chief beneficiaries
of welfare. In short, critics argued that dramatic change was needed,
and the answers were best left to the states.
PRWORA was the result, but not an inevitable one. It represented a
political triumph of those in power at the time. A different, more thoughtful
outcome was possible, and entirely compatible with public attitudes.
This is particularly regretable because by most indications PRWORA has
failed to realize the most basic goals of its architects.
Did Welfare Reform Work?
Has the 1996 welfare reform been a "success"? The answer, using four
different criteria—each focused on outcomes attributed to reform—seems
clearly to be "no."
1. Caseload numbers have dropped, but those numbers were falling
long before PRWORA became law (in August 1996). Between January 1996
and June 2000, the caseload dropped steadily from 4.6 to 2.2 million
families, roughly the level of 1970. But the decline in the rolls began
earlier: the numbers fell from an historic peak of 5.0 million in January
1994 to 4.6 million in January 1996. Moreover, the percentage of eligible
families who actually enrolled and received benefits also fell continuously
from 84.3 in 1995 to 55.8 in 1998.
2. With respect to employment, many people who left the welfare
rolls ("leavers") worked some after their departure, but often
at sporadic jobs and typically at inadequate rates. On one national
estimate, 50 percent of 1996 and 1997 leavers worked in the first month
after departure, a figure in the low range of estimates for leavers
during the prior, pre-reform decade. At the state level, the numbers
of leavers who found work in the first three months after departure
ranged from 47 to 67 percent; for the first year, between 62 and 75
percent. Moreover, the employment for leavers was not very stable. Only
about 40 percent of the group worked at some time during each of the
four quarters of the year after exit. Fewer worked during every month,
and still fewer every week. Only about 12 percent are estimated to have
worked 35 hours or more on a weekly basis. Moreover, estimates of the
percentage of welfare leavers who return to the rolls within the first
year after departure range from 20 to 40 percent.
3. With respect to earnings and overall income, gains are quite
limited. At the national level, median wages for 1997 leavers were estimated
at $7.08 per hour (in 1999 dollars); the median monthly earnings for
their families was estimated at just $997. The wages, earnings, hours
of work, and work schedules of the 1999 leavers showed little improvement.
State studies show median quarterly earnings, even for those who worked,
ranging from only about $500 to $1,000 per month. Relatively few had
employer-sponsored health insurance; many had no insurance at all. One
study of 1997 leavers suggests that only 29 percent had improved their
average monthly personal income (during their first post-welfare year)
more than $50 by leaving welfare. Even when account was taken of the
income of all members of the leavers' households, fewer than 50 percent
showed such improvement. Net of taxes and work expenses, the number
are probably even lower. These figures are consistent, incidentally,
with reports of significant food insecurity and other forms of material
hardship among these post-welfare families.
4. Finally, the most important criterion for evaluating the success
of PRWORA is the long-term economic outlook for former welfare households.
By this standard, welfare reformers have little positive to claim. A
Wisconsin study of 1995 leavers over three years, for example, showed
that although 88 percent worked at some point during that period, fewer
did in successive years; and for many, employment was not consistent.
Median annual earnings (of those who worked) increased, but their median
aggregate earnings over the three years were only about $25,000 (or
about $8,400 per year). Moreover, over one third received temporary
assistance (TANF) benefits during the three years and nearly two-third
received Food Stamps. After three years, about 59 percent of such families
had after-tax income, combined with cash assistance, below the poverty
level; for 89 percent, it was below 150 percent of the poverty level.
Even during the nation's strong cycle of economic growth in the late
1990s, welfare recipients who moved from welfare to work were likely
to do little or no better than low-income mothers who had already joined
the work force: their long-term prospects were little better; time limits
aside, many would cycle through welfare as they had done before; and
the vast majority continued to find it very hard (nearly impossible,
without continuing supports) to earn enough money to move above the
official poverty line. In short, welfare reform did not succeed in improving
the long-term economic prospects for poor households.
The Larger Issue: Economic Insecurity
Persistent problems after the 1996 reforms suggest a need for a different
and more comprehensive solution. The welfare issue cannot be treated
on its own because it is part of a much larger problem concerning the
well-being of the working poor—and of those who work yet struggle
to stay in that nebulous area between poverty and barely "middle class."
Shared circumstances now place a broader segment of the population
at risk. For example, having a job, even a full-time job, hardly guarantees
an escape from poverty. More of the poor (on the official poverty measure)
had a full-time worker in the family in 2000 than in 1993 (44.5 percent
compared with 36.0 percent); more had two or more workers in
the family in 2000 than in 1993 (9.4 percent compared with 9.0 percent).
The economic prospects for literally millions of households with breadwinners
in the labor market—male and female, single and married—are
dim. In 1997, over one fourth of all workers were low-wage workers,
earning less than $7.50 an hour. About one third of low-wage workers
(nearly one tenth of all workers) were members of low-income families
(with incomes below $24,600, about 150 percent of the poverty level
for a family of four in 1999). Although nearly 40 percent of low-wage
and low-income workers were employed full-time, year-round, many others
could not secure such work: nearly half because they could not find
it and many others because they had only seasonable employment, suffered
involuntary layoffs, had health problems, or lacked childcare.
Nor does marriage guarantee an escape from poverty. In 1999, 4.3 million
of America's 10.9 million poor children lived in married-couple families.
Shifting from the official poverty measure to a more realistic, "self-sufficiency"
income standard (roughly 200 percent of the poverty level), we find
that 14.0 million of the 25.3 million children in families that were
not self-sufficient lived in married-couple families.
These outcomes reflect larger changes experienced by many individuals
who enjoy less security now and reduced opportunity over the long term.
Real wages for many male wage earners have stagnated or even decreased.
While women have, on average, made gains relative to men, inequality
for both women and men has dramatically increased. The recent boom restored
some, but not all, of the losses in median real wages suffered since
the early 1970s. Moreover, evidence shows lower prospects for wage growth
over the working lives of many men as compared to those who first entered
the workforce in prior decades; and the underlying causes point to similar
results for many women. Some—largely college graduates—have
held their own. Those who invested in some college-level training suffered
less than those who did not, but returns on investing in college education
have fallen. If such loss of real lifetime earnings continues unabated,
the cumulative effect will be to raise the level of workers' indebtedness
or lower their lifetime savings for retirement and other purposes.
Declining wage growth has also been linked to increased job instability.
This instability reflects a shift of available jobs toward those in
the service industries, particularly low-wage, high-turnover ones, and
also decreasing job stability within industry. Workers find fewer opportunities
for wage growth, promotion, and training during the tenure of the jobs
they hold, and changes in job tenure yield decreased returns, with an
increasing number ending up trapped in low-wage careers. Moreover, the
link between increased productivity and wage growth has weakened, especially
for men. While there are more high-skill, high-wage contingent workers,
most temporary work is still low-skill, with lower wages and benefits
than those accorded full-time workers. Many of these jobs reflect an
increasing decentralization and outsourcing of work and production.
These problems of job instability and vulnerability to catastrophic
risks are not unique to the welfare poor or even the working poor. Even
households that were once considered safe now often face economic calamity
as a result of forces beyond their control. Bankruptcy, for example,
often is the result of unemployment or underemployment, i.e., the loss
of high-paying, good-benefit jobs and the necessity of taking low-paying,
poor-benefit ones. For others, credit card debt serves as an easy, though
ultimately very costly, means to maintain their standard of living,
enabling them to gamble that such debt will keep them from falling over
the financial ledge. Large bills and reduced incomes as a result of
illness and injury—the loss of breadwinners' income and the cost
of treatment and care not covered by insurance (which may be lost along
with a job)—often result in financial failure. The
interplay of family and financial stress has been linked to marital
instability and is compounded by the almost inevitable financial troubles
resulting from divorce and separation, particularly devastating for
women and children. For many, ownership of a home—middle class
families' principal asset—is not sufficient because they are "house
poor." They have little equity (tapped out by second mortgages or home
equity loans) or suffer when market values fall. The cost of financing
college loans for their children and the burden of student loans on
young people that may extend into their working years (and may be onerous
if they do not get good jobs) also threaten the economic stability of
the middle class.
In summary, economic insecurity is not simply the burden of the so-called
"welfare poor," or even of struggling blue collar households. It has
spread well up the economic ladder. Suffering from common structural
forces largely beyond their control, American families need a solution
much broader than welfare reform.
New Directions: Asset Development
For reasons we turn to next, we believe that an asset-based framework
provides the right foundation for future domestic policy. It also provides
an important angle of approach to the debate over welfare reauthorization.
Assets refer to the capacities and resources that enable individuals
to identify and choose projects for their lives: to define what
a good life is, and to pursue it.This definition fits widely-shared
beliefs about the keys to achieving economic well-being: earnings to
sustain growth during a working lifetime; knowledge and skills to enhance
those earnings; pensions for support in retirement; insurance to protect
against risks; financial resources to complement and enhance all three;
and a network of personal and professional connections that supports
Assets can be classified as individual and collective. Individual
assets include income, human capital, and financial assets. The first
of these, income assets, are rooted in employment-based income assets—jobs
that are the source of cash income and benefits. These are essential
because, for most households, an adequate employment-based income is
still the principal means of attaining economic well-being. Minimum
wage laws, tax subsidies for employer provided benefits, and the protection
of workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively—all directly
enhance such income. Transfer income assets assure cash and non-cash
supports when jobs are lost (unemployment and workers' compensation)
or when employment income is inadequate or lacking (Medicaid, Food Stamps,
TANF benefits, and the EITC). Human capital primarily encompasses
the knowledge and skills that are critical for gainful employment (and
perhaps also the physical capacities that comprehensive health care
helps to ensure). Building human capital can be the key to a virtuous
cycle of increasing opportunity, establishing the base for continued
acquisition of greater knowledge and skills and further movement up
the economic ladder. Finally, financial assets, such as savings
and checking accounts, stocks and bonds, and equity in a home, are critical
to economic security and opportunity: to support life transitions, to
provide a buffer in face of crises, to enable new ventures, and to sustain
Several types of collective assets are also of great importance: they
supply a critical community-based physical and service infrastructure;
provide networks of support; serve as community resources in which workers,
suppliers, customers, and neighbors have a stake; and can be a source
of sustainable benefit within and across generations. But we concentrate
here on individual assets, which are the primary indicators of economic
To appreciate the distinctiveness of the asset framework, consider
the differences between it and the post-New Deal framework of social
policy: what is sometimes called the insurance-opportunity state.
Such a state has two main components. One is insurance, protection
in the face of commonly shared risks of harm. Some risks are
the inevitable concomitants of the human condition, such as age (youth
or old age), illness, and injury. Others are the likely outcomes associated
with the society's particular economic, social, and political structure.
For example, a principal risk in a dynamic market economy is involuntary
unemployment. The corresponding goal of social welfare has been to guard
against threats to income: to protect against absolute inadequacy and
against sudden or massive losses. The focus is on stability and preservation.
The other goal is opportunity, which focuses on change and
growth. It assumes a basic level of stability and well-being. But
it also entails identifying and making choices about the potential for
greater well-being, planning to achieve that goal, and building and
then employing the capacities and resources necessary to realize it.
These endeavors entail a relevant measure of initiative and self-reliance.
Moreover, with every attempt to seize opportunity there is a risk (of
failure). But it is a risk different in kind from that associated with
social insurance: it is self-initiated, in some measure controlled,
and, ideally, informed.
The contemporary American social welfare state originated during the
New Deal and linked insurance with opportunity in a virtuous circle.
For the vast majority, individual well-being was tied to opportunity
through employment. Individuals had an obligation to seize job opportunities
and strive to succeed when they were seized. Government's role was to
assure that such opportunities were available and that the rewards accorded
by the workplace were meaningful. This arrangement enabled many individuals
to enjoy some measure of economic security even when adversely impacted
by limited opportunity, including old age and even disability. For many,
the circle was complete: the government drew upon and pooled a portion
of the productive wealth created when individuals successfully seized
opportunity at the workplace and used it to maintain the system of insurance
that sustained them when misfortune occurred. Many others, though, remained
outside of this circle, including minorities, women, and those who worked
hard but were simply left out of the structure of opportunity.
Changed realities now challenge the capacity of the insurance-opportunity
state to assure economic security and opportunity. Employment and its
rewards remain crucial to opportunity, but they must be thought of more
in terms of a career than a job. A shrinking and shifting
time horizon for jobs, even measured down to segments of days, demands
that people identify, choose, plan and prepare themselves for the sequence
of jobs they may hold over their working lifetimes. However much any
particular job may offer basic economic security and minimum economic
well-being, people's long-range interest is economic mobility
over a working lifetime. That requires a commitment to lifelong learning
that can enable movement along ladders of opportunity through career-building.
It highlights the importance of networks that have often provided access
to job opportunities, but also the need for new intermediaries to identify
and shape those opportunities as well. If dynamic economic change challenges
individuals to find opportunities, it also challenges the larger society
to ensure that they are available.
Changed roles in the family and their relationship to work have also
altered the calculus of economic security and opportunity. Whatever
its contemporary configuration, the family remains a locus of material,
psychological, and emotional supports that afford its members the security
that sustains them and enables them to seize opportunities that lay
outside the family. It remains the principal place where kids develop
essential intellectual skills, as well as the capacity to enter into
relationships, and the cultural confidence and financial wherewithal
to enter into a complex society with some hope of success. Both men
and women now enjoy an expanded universe of opportunity; the worlds
of work and family are no longer exclusive spheres for each. But they
require the capacities and resources necessary for them to fulfill the
responsibilities that accompany participation in both worlds, for their
own sake and that of their children.
Increased life spans have extended the timeline for security and opportunity.
Many people can now anticipate expanded choices about an active life
at work, as an alternative or complement to other activities. But taking
advantage of these opportunities now requires much greater financial
and other resources. Moreover, longer life spans have increased the
responsibilities of family members of working age to care for and support
the elderly and infirm, making it more difficult to seize opportunities
and enjoy economic security.
The calculus of risk has changed. More "flexible" employment relationships
mean greater labor market risk for individuals and strains on the traditional
public system of insurance to protect against it. They mean a weaker
system of private, employer-based protection against the risks of ill
health, disability, and aging, rendering less relevant the public system
of tax subsidies that helped sustain it and straining the system of
government protection that complemented it. People must be enabled to
plan and provide for themselves against those risks and government and
enterprise must each make a contribution to providing protection.
Asset-based policies can meet these challenges through both traditional
and new approaches.One approach would be to provide income assets that
make work truly pay, by integrating the EITC with the tax and income
transfer system; raising and indexing the minimum wage to inflation;
updating the unemployment compensation system in light of workplace
changes such as the shift to part-time and temporary employment; and
linking income supports to a realistic measure of well-being such as
a "self-sufficiency" standard. Other approaches could build financial
assets through such vehicles as seeded children's opportunity accounts
at birth; matched savings accounts perhaps modeled after Individual
Development Accounts; and universal retirement accounts to complement
the traditional social security system. Still other avenues could invest
in human capital through vehicles like individual lifelong learning
accounts with government or employer contributions, to enable worker
mobility within and across enterprises.
An asset development framework is critical, then, to the task of reconstructing
the insurance-opportunity state in light of new realities. It takes
account of the capacities and resources with which all must be equipped
to enjoy meaningful opportunity, despite all the new uncertainties and
risks. It identifies the conditions that enable self-reliance (properly
understood) and initiative, and the resources people need in order to
plan and make choices. It provides a way to relate the productive contribution
to society that might be expected of individuals with their capacities
and resources to make it. It offers a basis upon which to justify protections
in the face of incapacity and loss and the need to start anew after
losses due to commonly shared risks. It serves to highlight how universal
access to means that can enable people to provide for themselves can
be afforded in a manner consistent with mutual dependence and social
An asset policy framework also appeals to fundamental values that have
sustained this nation's greatest social policy achievements. Such values
include opportunity (a meaningful chance for all to achieve well
being); choice (the autonomy to select among opportunities);
personal responsibility (initiative in developing the capacity
to contribute to one's own well-being and using it not only on one's
own behalf but also that of one's family and the larger community);
fairness (no unfair advantage in the pursuit of opportunity);
and social responsibility (sufficient reward for those whose
lives embody these values and basic support for those not capable of
seizing opportunity or who have failed in the attempt).
What Should Be Done?
If we are right about the limits of welfare reform, and the promise
of an asset-based policy framework, what are the conclusions for the
Retreating to the pre-1996 welfare system will not do: too many families
on and off the rolls are struggling. Certainly, the pre-1996 system
of cash assistance and income in kind was critical to families' survival.
Clearly, hunger and privation have no place in any system, old or new.
But the old system never had the political support to stave off losses
in the real value of cash assistance, let alone to effect long-term
and dramatic change for the better. Recipients were stigmatized as being
different from folks "who worked hard and played by the rules." Stigma
lingers today and the race card can always be played. But people who
have now moved "from welfare to work" are more likely to be seen as
similar to many others who are losing in the game both so earnestly
play. Little support is evident among many constituencies for a return
to the old system.
But embracing the post-1996 status quo will not do either. Some families
have greater security, but many have landed in the low-wage labor market,
where people work hard, live in poverty, and know hunger and all the
other manifestations of economic deprivation. Still others—more
challenged in capacities and resources—have hardly made it into
the world of work. For them, time limits loom larger with each passing
day. Indeed, some enthusiastic supporters of welfare reform admit those
difficulties. A swelling economy aside, many who have "made it" owe
the outcome to the EITC, Food Stamps, and expansions in health care
coverage. Significant changes to the new status quo are required.
Marginal changes to remedy the most harmful aspects of the new policies
would help for the short run. For liberals, such changes would include
softening sanctions, easing time limits, reducing dead-end work requirements,
and increasing overall support to the states for the benefit of program
participants, notwithstanding lower case loads. For conservatives, the
right changes would include more aggressive policies relating to non-marital
births and marriage.
But such reforms should serve only as a starting point for building
a new framework of social policy based on the idea of asset development.
The 1996 reforms, suitably modified, would preserve the kernel of truth
implicit in "work first," that one of the keys to well-being for the
vast majority of Americans is consistent, long-term employment in good-paying
jobs with good benefits. The assumption was that if recipients joined
the game and played as hard as the "rest of us," they would be well
on the way to being like the rest of us. But if so, their efforts should
afford them a standard of well-being not unlike that which the rest
of us expect and enjoy.
For thoughtful observers, then, the issue is not merely one of entry
into the workforce but rather, a rewarding and sustained connection
with it. The initial challenge is economic stability (or security) but
only as the basis for economic mobility as well. And mobility requires
assets: updated income asset policies; expanded, effective human capital
policies; new financial asset policies; as well as others linked to
the economics of community and place.
The coming welfare reauthorization debate offers the occasion to open
up discussion about the promise that asset development policies have
for fostering both security and opportunity.1
But how are we to get from here to there?
First, we must refashion the goals—and corollary measures of
success—for reform. Traditional but more realistic income-based
terms are important. But other meaningful asset-based measures of well-being
with broader appeal are required, e.g., ones that identify economic
opportunity gained and mobility achieved.
Second, we can identify the key roles that assets play in both protecting
individuals from risk and affording them opportunity. Certainly, the
focus should be on those whose lives are lived within or at the margins
of economic deprivation. But the focus must be broad enough to encompass
the working poor and the working (and struggling) middle class. The
experiences and aspirations they share arise from the common role assets
play in their lives and those commonalities can be the basis for a shared
political agenda. We need to examine policies that support asset-building
for the more affluent, which in turn justify asset-based policies that
work for everybody.
Third, we must focus on the common needs of American households, pointing
out the avenues by which governmental policy can promote greater opportunity
for all. With the fundamental values of fairness and opportunity as
the backdrop, this would include the need for meaningful ladders of
progress to enable those on welfare not only to get out of poverty but
to advance into the economic mainstream. It also means exploring the
ways in which policies that promote asset development for middle class
youngsters can be applied to children and youth born into poverty.
Finally, we can offer concrete proposals that are relevant to welfare
reform but have a broader reach, even if the short-term political calculus
offers little prospect for immediate success. Writ small or large, they
can embody an asset-based vision and point to its promise.
The reauthorization debate is the domestic policy opportunity of the
near future, but it will be a lost opportunity if it devolves into an
argument over whether this or that element of the 1996 changes succeeded.
No honest analyst should feel good about discussing the minutiae of
an economic security policy that clearly has not been a credible success.
Reauthorization will also be a lost opportunity if it focuses only on
the poor to the exclusion of other low-income working families, or even
the conditions of tenuously "middle class" families. The upcoming debate
offers a tremendous occasion to focus the nation and its leaders on
the needs that all households have for a meaningful chance to achieve
economic well-being, and it can start a discussion that one day results
in a new domestic framework with asset-building policy as its common
core. An asset policy framework appeals to fundamental values: opportunity,
choice, personal responsibility, fairness, and social responsibility.<
J. Larry Brown directs the Center on Hunger and
Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
Larry W. Beeferman directs the Center on Hunger
and Poverty's Asset Development Institute, at Brandeis University's
Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
1 See Larry W. Beeferman and Sandra H. Venner,
Promising State Asset Development Policies: Promoting Economic Well-Being
Among Low-Income Households, Asset Development Institute, Center on
Hunger and Poverty, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis
University, April 2001. Available online at http://www.centeronhunger.org/adipubs.html
Originally Published in December 2001/January
2002 issue of the Boston Review