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Developing the Survey of Program Dynamics Survey Instruments

Jennifer Hess, Jennifer Rothgeb, and Andy Zukerberg
Component ID: #ti1194717756


President Clinton signed The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, more commonly know as the Welfare Reform Act, on August 22, 1996. One section of the Act charged the U.S. Bureau of the Census:

  • To continue to collect data on the 1992 and 1993 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to evaluate the impact of the law on a random national sample of recipients of assistance;
  • To pay particular attention to the issues of out-of- wedlock birth, welfare dependency, the beginning and end of welfare spells, and the causes of repeat welfare spells; and,
  • To obtain information about the status of children participating in such panels.

Toward this end, the Census Bureau developed the Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD). With current funding, the SPD will extend the 1992/93 SIPP panels through 2002 resulting in 10-years of longitudinal data. This paper describes the challenges we faced in designing and testing the SPD survey instruments. (See Weinberg, et. al., 1998, for background information about the SPD. See also Kominski and Bass, 1998, for information on children’s data in the SPD.)

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