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How welfare reform made women worse off

Welfare reform in the 1990s was heralded as a success — but the political win it represents may have come at women’s expense.

The 1996 Welfare Reform Act has had a negative effect on women, according to a new report authored by researchers from the University of Cambridge, Stanford University, Yale University and the University of Chicago, and distributed by the National Bureau for Economic Research.

The study examined the effects of the act, also known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton. Primarily, the bill replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, an entitlement program for low-income families, with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

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