Welfare participation, spatial inequalities, poverty, race, gender, welfare policy


Welfare participation has been a longstanding issue of public debate for 50 years but remains largely understudied in welfare literature. The purpose of this research is to challenge the flawed assumptions of welfare participation by examining the varying spatial inequalities that influence U.S. welfare participation rates among eligible poor. This comparative analysis uses spatial inequality theory to examine welfare-to-work participation rates in all North Carolina and Ohio counties. I find that Ohio county welfare-to-work participation rates are most affected by region, race and gender while North Carolina county rates are most affected by politics, industry and race.

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