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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Zatz, Noah
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    Work lies at the center of recent transformations in the American welfare state. Tough new work requirements "ended welfare as we knew it" while major expansions in "work supports" were designed to "make work pay." Despite this enormous weight placed on work, careful examination of precisely what counts as work is virtually absent from the welfare reform literature. This article examines how the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, as implemented in the States, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) define work that satisfies their work requirements. Studying what counts as work with greater specificity reveals two flaws in the common claim that TANF and the EITC reflect a new consensus about the role of work in anti-poverty policy. First, under TANF, "work" does not mean simply paid employment. Instead, States define work to include many unpaid activities but differ greatly as to which. In addition to education and training, some include rehabilitative medical and social services, community service, and even forms of...

    Work lies at the center of recent transformations in the American welfare state. Tough new work requirements "ended welfare as we knew it" while major expansions in "work supports" were designed to "make work pay." Despite this enormous weight placed on work, careful examination of precisely what counts as work is virtually absent from the welfare reform literature. This article examines how the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, as implemented in the States, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) define work that satisfies their work requirements. Studying what counts as work with greater specificity reveals two flaws in the common claim that TANF and the EITC reflect a new consensus about the role of work in anti-poverty policy. First, under TANF, "work" does not mean simply paid employment. Instead, States define work to include many unpaid activities but differ greatly as to which. In addition to education and training, some include rehabilitative medical and social services, community service, and even forms of unpaid family caregiving. Second, because the EITC, unlike TANF, does equate working with earning income, TANF and the EITC cannot be understood simply as two faces of one work-based transfer system. These disjunctures in how programs define work demand renewed evaluation of rationales for work requirements that sound compatible in theory but conflict in practice. Moreover, decisions about what to count as work inevitably interact with other dimensions of policy design, such as income eligibility rules and time limits. (author abstract)