More than forty-five years after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an """"""""unconditional war on poverty,"""""""" little systematic, econometric research has evaluated the health benefits of the War on Poverty's community programs. The main reason for the dearth of evidence on this topic is the lack of data on which communities received federal grants for War on Poverty programs, when they received them, what these grants were for, and how much funding was allocated. The proposed research aims to remedy this deficiency by pursuing four specific aims: (1) Collecting and cleaning information on the who received War on Poverty grants, where services under the grant were delivered, when the grant was awarded, what program the grant paid for, and the amount of the grant; (2) Examining the determinants of federal grants to different communities and programs under the War on Poverty; (3) Examining the coincidence and complementarity of War on Poverty grants for different programs, and (4) Distributing a new dataset on War on Poverty grants (collected in specific aim 1) for use by other researchers. The proposed research contributes to health policy and social science knowledge in several ways. First, it will provide a more detailed, local quantification of appropriations by program and grantee than ever assembled in an electronic database. Second, the new electronic dataset of War on Poverty grants by program, grantee, location and date will lay the groundwork for and encourage future analysis of the effects of these programs. Finally, understanding the determinants of grants for different purposes, communities and amounts not only provides insight into the internal workings of the War on Poverty administration, but this also sheds light on the validity of assumptions for alternative econometric estimators with which to evaluate these programs. Detailed information on the War on Poverty """"""""treatments"""""""" (Aim 1) as well as the determinants of these treatments (Aims 2 and 3) together lay the foundation for quasi-experimental, econometric evaluations of the average, local effects of these programs on population health by this researcher and others (Aim 4).
This project contributes to public health knowledge in two main ways. First, it will aid researchers in understanding the impact and effectiveness of federal grants for social programs by compiling, encoding and disseminating information on the federal grants to improve public health under the War on Poverty. Second, this project will help create better estimates of the shorter- and longer-term benefits of War on Poverty public health programs in the U.S. These estimates should assist policy- makers and philanthropists in making funding decisions about current programs in the U.S. and abroad.
|Bailey, Martha J; Goodman-Bacon, Andrew (2015) The War on Poverty's Experiment in Public Medicine: Community Health Centers and the Mortality of Older Americans. Am Econ Rev 105:1067-1104|
|Bailey, Martha J; Duquette, Nicolas J (2014) How Johnson Fought the War on Poverty: The Economics and Politics of Funding at the Office of Economic Opportunity. J Econ Hist 74:351-388|
|Bailey, Martha J (2012) Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on US Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X(). Am Econ J Appl Econ 4:62-97|