Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

About the Authors

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

Most books are long in the making and this one is no exception. It began for the three of us in 1995 when we were members of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood. Few foundations have been as willing...

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Chapter 1: Introduction

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pp. 1-14

“If you work, you should not be poor.” This is the implicit social contract in America. Work is a fundamental value in the United States, and hard work should bring rewards. Until recently, it generally did. As the prosperity of the country grew...

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Chapter 2: Creating New Hope

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pp. 15-30

David Riemer’s views on work and welfare, views that were at the core of New Hope, can be traced directly back to the revolutionary policies of Harry Hopkins and Franklin Roosevelt. He explained as follows...

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Chapter 3: Participants

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pp. 31-41

After six years of planning, New Hope began operating in August 1994. Among those selected by the lottery to participate were Lakeisha, Inez, and Elena...

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Chapter 4: The Evaluation

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pp. 42-50

The random-assignment lottery method of selecting participants was critical in measuring New Hope’s impacts. Random assignment involved recruiting twice as many people as the program could afford and then, in effect, flipping a coin to determine...

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Chapter 5: Work and Poverty

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pp. 51-67

She was raised by a mother on welfare and had received welfare herself before applying to New Hope, but Inez does not fit the profile of a hard-to-employ single mother. She graduated from high school on schedule, went to work in a bank...

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Chapter 6: Children

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pp. 68-81

When Inez enrolled in New Hope, her oldest child, Jorge, was not yet two years old. He started life with a number of strikes against him. His mother was an unmarried teenager who conceived him with a man who was dealing drugs...

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Chapter 7: Families

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pp. 82-99

To understand how New Hope affected children and their families, we begin with a snapshot of Lakeisha’s life, showing how family and work played out in her daily routine. Our imagined bus ride is based on Lakeisha’s descriptions...

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Chapter 8: New Hope’s Lessons

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pp. 100-112

In 2004, a full decade after she became eligible for New Hope’s benefits, Lakeisha, at age thirty-three, was still with Kevin, and they had purchased a small, well-kept house in a quiet, safe northside Milwaukee neighborhood. She and Kevin were planning...

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Chapter 9: New Hope and National Policy

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pp. 113-121

Forged by a coalition of community activists and local business leaders, New Hope’s core principles reflect widely held views on what America’s social contract with low-skilled workers should be. It is demanding, requiring people to work full time...

Appendix: New Hope Program Impacts

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pp. 122-133

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Afterword

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pp. 135-140

Since the publication of Higher Ground, we have completed an eight-year follow-up analysis of the New Hope evaluation experiment and launched an initiative to promote a national demonstration of the New Hope...

Notes

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pp. 141-154

References

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pp. 155-164

Index

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pp. 165-172