Maria Cancian

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Initiative:

Maria Cancian, associate professor of economics at the Institute for Research on Poverty at University of Wisconsin, will explore the implications of Wisconsin's radical new approach to public assistance for low-income families: the Wisconsin Works (W-2). In addition to emphasizing work as a prerequisite for cash assistance, W-2 is unique in that it allows for a 100% "pass-through": participating parents may keep all child support paid on behalf of their children rather than return full or partial payment to the state. Cancian will study the impact of W-2 on low-income families, the implications for national policy, and the likely effects of a full pass-through for other states. She will also address the broader issues regarding the impact of work-focused welfare reform on the well-being of low-income, single-mother families and explore the relationship between women's employment and family formation decisions.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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