Journal of Public Management & Social Policy


Devolution was embedded in the 1996 welfare reform. Using the National Survey of America’s Families, this article explores the relationship between living in a Second Order Devolution (SOD) state and administrative exclusion from a welfare program. Results from the logistic model indicate that low-income clients and single mothers living in a SOD state had an increased likelihood of administrative exclusion. Administrative exclusion reflects bureaucratic choices and rules violations—implying some of these individuals and families may be leaving welfare without having achieved self-sufficiency. Results suggest that a careful evaluation of the state welfare performance measure and of the devolution of authority under block grants are needed before block granting other safety net programs.



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