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Low-wage workers and the role of anti-poverty programs

Monday, October 15, 2018

Effective anti-poverty programs like SNAP and Medicaid help millions of Americans, including working families, meet basic needs in times of struggle. At the federal level and in many states across the United States, there are significant legislative and regulatory efforts underway to impose new policies that would remove health care and food assistance from people who do not meet a work requirement. These efforts have led many observers and researchers to re-examine the relationship between work and access to the safety net.

On October 15, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities co-hosted a forum to explore work requirements and the role of anti-poverty programs. The forum featured framing remarks from Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy, Harvard Kennedy School and closing remarks from Robert Greenstein, president, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The event also included a panel discussion moderated by Catherine Rampell, syndicated columnist, The Washington Post, featuring: Michael Tanner, senior fellow, Cato Institute; Sharon Parrott, senior fellow and senior counselor, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Marquita Little Numan, health policy director, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families; and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Margaret Walker Alexander professor and director, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University.

The event coincided with the release of a new Hamilton Project economic analysis that examines how work requirements affect the goals of a social safety net and analyzes who would be affected by new work requirements in Medicaid and expanded work requirements in SNAP.


1:30 PM Registration Opens

2:00 PM Opening Remarks

Roger Altman
Founder and Senior Chairman, Evercore

2:10 PM Framing Remarks

Jason Furman
Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy, Harvard Kennedy School;
Senior Counselor, The Hamilton Project

2:20 PM Presentation of Research

Jay Shambaugh
Director, The Hamilton Project;
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution;
Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University

2:25 PM Roundtable Discussion: Work and the Safety Net

Sharon Parrott
Senior Fellow and Senior Counselor, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Marquita Little Numan
Health Policy Director, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy;
Director, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University;
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

Michael Tanner
Senior Fellow, CATO Institute

Moderator: Catherine Rampell
Syndicated Columnist, The Washington Post

3:20 PM Closing Remarks

Robert Greenstein
President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

3:30 PM Forum Adjourns

Event Forum

The Brookings Institution


Follow @hamiltonproj and see the conversation using #LowWageWork

Available Downloads

Full Transcriptpdf


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