Proceedings of the 1978 Conference on the Seattle and Denver Income Maintenance Experiments

Oct 1979 |
Online Library

This volume presents a preliminary analysis of the data accumulated thus far in the largest controlled social experiment ever under taken, the Seattle and Denver Income Maintenance Experiments (WIME/EIME).  The concept of social experimentation is itself not new; modes of organizing for public welfare and distributing benefits and services within communities are virtually always first attempted on a small scale prior to their broader implementation. Yet the use of rigorous statistical methods to test the effects of policy changes is a product of only recent years, and the income maintenance experiments are perhaps its foremost example.  This research was designed to assess the social and economic impacts of a welfare system based on the principle of a negative income tax.  Earlier and more limited studies were conducted in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, in Gary, Indiana, and in two rural settings.  SIME/DIME was the most carefully designed of the series; it contains the largest sample of families and the greatest number of experimental variations. Thus, it allows the examination of a wide range of issues, and permits a highly refined analysis of the probable effects of various reforms to the welfare system.