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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Blagg, Kristin; Chingos, Matthew; Corcoran, Sean P.; Cordes, Sarah A.; Cowen, Joshua; Denice, Patrick ; Gross, Betheny; Lincove, Jane Arnold ; Sattin-Bajaj, Carolyn; Schwartz, Amy Ellen; Valant, Jon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools....

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools.
    • Access to “high quality” high schools varies across cities, race and ethnicity, and on the quality measure used. However, ninth-grade students, on average, tend to live about a 10-minute drive from a “high quality” high school.
    • Access to a car can significantly increase the number of schools available to a family. Typical travel times to school by public transit are significantly greater than by car, especially in cities with less efficient transit networks.

    Just as there are inequalities and differences in students’ academic performance across these cities, we see parallel inequalities and differences in the distances that students travel and in the availability of nearby school options. Experiments in targeted policy interventions, such as implementing transportation vouchers for low-income parents of very young students, using yellow buses on circulating routes, or changing the way that school siting decisions are made, might yield pragmatic solutions that further level the playing field for a city’s most disadvantaged students. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Thomas, Jaime; Hossain, Mynti; Johnson, Cleo Jacobs ; Siddiqui, Nazihah; Osuoha, Amaka; Balke, Patrick
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    In November 2016, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) began a year-long initiative to support child development in Detroit, Michigan. The Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership initiative was designed to reduce vulnerabilities caused by economic and social inequity through community engagement, stakeholder collaboration, and research. As part of this initiative, WKKF partnered with Mathematica to conduct a review of the informal child care landscape in Detroit. Mathematica provided WKKF with information on the characteristics, experiences, and needs of parents and their informal child care providers. Specific project activities included interviews with program staff and other key informants to learn about existing informal child care programs and networks and site visits to organizations and programs that provide services for parents and informal child care providers in Detroit. During the site visits, the Mathematica team interviewed parents and caregivers to learn about their experiences with informal child care, their child care arrangements, and their social...

    In November 2016, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) began a year-long initiative to support child development in Detroit, Michigan. The Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership initiative was designed to reduce vulnerabilities caused by economic and social inequity through community engagement, stakeholder collaboration, and research. As part of this initiative, WKKF partnered with Mathematica to conduct a review of the informal child care landscape in Detroit. Mathematica provided WKKF with information on the characteristics, experiences, and needs of parents and their informal child care providers. Specific project activities included interviews with program staff and other key informants to learn about existing informal child care programs and networks and site visits to organizations and programs that provide services for parents and informal child care providers in Detroit. During the site visits, the Mathematica team interviewed parents and caregivers to learn about their experiences with informal child care, their child care arrangements, and their social support networks. Mathematica prepared three briefs to summarize project findings for WKKF, the Kresge Foundation, community leaders, program staff, parents, child care providers, and other stakeholders. The first brief highlights the role of informal child care in Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan; the second describes care arrangements and parent and informal caregiver social support networks; and the third discusses barriers to children receiving high quality care and offers recommendations for overcoming them. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Gould-Werth, Alix
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Though the Great Recession came to a close in June 2009, workers are still feeling its effects due to continued high rates of underemployment and long-term unemployment. The long-term unemployed are more marginally attached to the labor force than their short-term unemployed peers, yet less is known about how people sort into long-term unemployment or cope with this status, nor why African Americans are disproportionately represented in this group. Using data from qualitative interviews with a diverse group of individuals who experienced job loss between 2007 and 2011, this study identifies the important role private safety nets play in ameliorating the scarring effects of unemployment in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Private resources, which are unequally distributed along racial lines, connect job losers to satisfactory jobs, provide high quality re-training opportunities, and facilitate more comfortable labor force exits. Private resources also augment the living conditions of individuals who find themselves longterm unemployed or underemployed, buffering them from the...

    Though the Great Recession came to a close in June 2009, workers are still feeling its effects due to continued high rates of underemployment and long-term unemployment. The long-term unemployed are more marginally attached to the labor force than their short-term unemployed peers, yet less is known about how people sort into long-term unemployment or cope with this status, nor why African Americans are disproportionately represented in this group. Using data from qualitative interviews with a diverse group of individuals who experienced job loss between 2007 and 2011, this study identifies the important role private safety nets play in ameliorating the scarring effects of unemployment in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Private resources, which are unequally distributed along racial lines, connect job losers to satisfactory jobs, provide high quality re-training opportunities, and facilitate more comfortable labor force exits. Private resources also augment the living conditions of individuals who find themselves longterm unemployed or underemployed, buffering them from the potential negative consequences of the decline in the quality of their employment situation. Because these resources are unequally distributed along racial lines, African Americans who lose their jobs experience worse labor market outcomes and greater decreases in their wellbeing than their White counterparts. These results suggest that job loss is a turning point in the life course—like incarceration, eviction, or high school completion—in which racial inequality is magnified and reproduced. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kalousova, Lucie; Danziger, Sheldon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This chapter uses longitudinal data from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study to investigate how Detroit-area residents fared in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We focus on the disparities between blacks and non-blacks in three domains of economic well-being: employment, housing, and financial security. For both blacks and non-blacks, we observe that the likelihood of housing and financial insecurity, poverty, and zero or negative net-worth was largely unchanged between the baseline (2009/10) and follow-up (2011) data collections. However, blacks were significantly more likely to experience every one of the examined hardships at both points, even after taking into account educational, gender, and age differentials between the two populations. We discuss the implications of these findings for public policies aimed at reducing racial disparities and poverty. (author abstract)

    This chapter uses longitudinal data from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study to investigate how Detroit-area residents fared in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We focus on the disparities between blacks and non-blacks in three domains of economic well-being: employment, housing, and financial security. For both blacks and non-blacks, we observe that the likelihood of housing and financial insecurity, poverty, and zero or negative net-worth was largely unchanged between the baseline (2009/10) and follow-up (2011) data collections. However, blacks were significantly more likely to experience every one of the examined hardships at both points, even after taking into account educational, gender, and age differentials between the two populations. We discuss the implications of these findings for public policies aimed at reducing racial disparities and poverty. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    In this paper I use data from a recent survey of employers to investigate the effects of employer skill needs on the wage levels and employment of newly hired workers, and especially on how these outcomes differ by race and gender. The skill needs are measured by various human capital credentials required of applicants at the hiring stage (educational attainment, specific experience, prior training) and by the daily task performance of those who are newly hired (reading/writing, arithmetic, use of computers).

    The results show that few new jobs are available to those workers who lack most of these credentials or who cannot perform most of these tasks. This is true even of jobs that do not require applicants to have college degrees.

    The hiring and task performance requirements of new jobs are associated with lower employment levels of blacks relative to whites within each gender, and some tasks are associated with higher employment levels of females relative to males. These requirements also have significant effects on starting hourly wages. Both effects are found...

    In this paper I use data from a recent survey of employers to investigate the effects of employer skill needs on the wage levels and employment of newly hired workers, and especially on how these outcomes differ by race and gender. The skill needs are measured by various human capital credentials required of applicants at the hiring stage (educational attainment, specific experience, prior training) and by the daily task performance of those who are newly hired (reading/writing, arithmetic, use of computers).

    The results show that few new jobs are available to those workers who lack most of these credentials or who cannot perform most of these tasks. This is true even of jobs that do not require applicants to have college degrees.

    The hiring and task performance requirements of new jobs are associated with lower employment levels of blacks relative to whites within each gender, and some tasks are associated with higher employment levels of females relative to males. These requirements also have significant effects on starting hourly wages. Both effects are found even after controlling for the educational attainments of hired workers.

    The effects of employer skill needs on employment patterns and wages help to account for some of the observed differences across groups in hourly wages, especially between black and white males, after controlling for education. Recent trends over time in relative wages and employment across these groups also seem to be quite consistent with these findings, along with evidence that these skill needs have been rising among employers.

    In addition, I find that various other employer characteristics such as their size, location, and the racial composition of their clientele also have significant effects on their tendencies to hire blacks. These findings suggest that employer preferences across racial groups play some role in determining employment outcomes of these groups, even after controlling for skill needs. (author abstract)

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