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Working Paper Number SPD97-2
Daniel H. Weinberg, Patricia A. Johnson, and the SPD Team

Abstract

P.L.104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) eliminated the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program.  Part of that law directed the Census Bureau to "continue to collect data on the 1992 and 1993 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation [SIPP] as necessary to obtain such information as will enable interested persons to evaluate the impact of the amendments made by Title I of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 on a random national sample of recipients of assistance under State programs funded under this part and (as appropriate) other low income families, and in doing so, shall pay particular attention to the issues of out-of-wedlock birth, welfare dependency,  the beginning and end of welfare spells, and shall obtain information about the status of children participating in such panels."

To carry out that directive, we are planning a Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD) to simultaneously measure important features of (1) the full range of welfare programs, including both programs that are being reformed and those that are unchanged, and (2) the full range of other important social, economic, demographic and family changes that will facilitate or limit the effectiveness of the reforms. Current plans are for data to be collected for each of the six years from 1996 through 2001, providing panel data for ten years (1992-2001) when combined with the 1992 SIPP data.

The survey has been designed with three fundamental sections -- (1) the "bridge" survey which will provide the link between the 1992 and 1993 panels of the SIPP and SPD (using the March 1997 Current Population Survey instrument); (2) the 1998 SPD which will collect annual retrospective data starting in 1998; and (3) the 1999 SPD Child Well-Being Module to be administered starting in 1999, though its content may vary from year to year.

There are three issues on which we would like advice from the Committee -- criteria for subsampling, approaches to weighting, and the character of the microdata files to be produced from the program.

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