Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2010


Palgrave Macmillan


In 1999 general assistance recipients in New York City were required to participate in a job training and outplacement assistance program. Initially, recipients were enrolled in ‘waves’ due to capacity constraints. The program’s impact is identified using a quasiexperiment in which selectees are compared to concomitantly eligible non-selectees. Selectees are 15 percentage points more likely to start a job and 10 percentage points more likely to exit welfare than are non-selectees. This methodology is important since random-assignment experiments can be costly and difficult to implement. Further, experiments are not impervious to criticism; this procedure addresses three of five known shortcomings.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Eastern Economic Journal. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Ifcher, J. (2010). Identifying the Effect of a Welfare-To-Work Program Using Program Capacity Constraints: A New York City Quasi-Experiment. Eastern Economic Journal, 36(3), 299–316 is available online at:

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