The Socio-Economic Impact of “Workfare”: Welfare Reform Lessons From The United States and Other International Experiences

“Workfare” is a type of welfare reform aimed at the linking of eligibility for welfare benefits to a willingness, ability and opportunity to carry out employment assigned by the administering welfare agency. Workfare aims to promote self-targeting of benefits, to restrain cost pressures and to promote sustainable job creation. A chief assumption underlying the implementation of welfare reforms centred on workfare is that those on welfare are able to find jobs and work, but choose not to.

The aim of this paper is to examine the experience of workfare programmes in the United States and other international countries and to evaluate the social and economic impact.