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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: Pac, Jessica; Nam, Jaehyun; Waldfogel, Jane; Wimer, Chris
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an...

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an increasing role in reducing the poverty of young children, especially among Black non-Hispanic children, whose poverty rate would otherwise be 20.8 percentage points higher in 2013. Third, the composition of support has changed from virtually all cash transfers in 1968, to about one third each of cash, credit and in-kind transfers today. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Olson, Steve
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2017

    After decades of increases in the obesity rate among U.S. adults and children, the rate recently has dropped among some populations, particularly young children. What are the factors responsible for these changes? How can promising trends be accelerated? What else needs to be known to end the epidemic of obesity in the United States?

    To examine these and other pressing questions, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop in September 2016. The workshop brought together leaders from business, early care and education, government, health care, and philanthropy to discuss the most promising approaches for the future of obesity prevention and treatment. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. (Author abstract)

    After decades of increases in the obesity rate among U.S. adults and children, the rate recently has dropped among some populations, particularly young children. What are the factors responsible for these changes? How can promising trends be accelerated? What else needs to be known to end the epidemic of obesity in the United States?

    To examine these and other pressing questions, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop in September 2016. The workshop brought together leaders from business, early care and education, government, health care, and philanthropy to discuss the most promising approaches for the future of obesity prevention and treatment. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lundberg, Shelly ; Pollack, Robert A. ; Stearns, Jenna
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Popular discussions of changes in American families over the past 60 years have revolved around the "retreat from marriage." Concern has focused on increasing levels of nonmarital childbearing, as well as falling marriage rates that stem from both increases in the age at first marriage and greater marital instability. Often lost in these discussions is the fact that the decline of marriage has coincided with a rise in cohabitation. Many "single" Americans now live with a domestic partner and a substantial fraction of "single" mothers are cohabiting, often with the child's father. The share of women who have ever cohabited has nearly doubled over the past 25 years, and the majority of nonmarital births now occur to cohabiting, rather than to unpartnered mothers, at all levels of education. The emergence of cohabitation as an alternative to marriage has been a key feature of the post–World War II transformation of the American family. These changes in the patterns and trajectories of family structure have a strong socioeconomic gradient. The important divide is between college...

    Popular discussions of changes in American families over the past 60 years have revolved around the "retreat from marriage." Concern has focused on increasing levels of nonmarital childbearing, as well as falling marriage rates that stem from both increases in the age at first marriage and greater marital instability. Often lost in these discussions is the fact that the decline of marriage has coincided with a rise in cohabitation. Many "single" Americans now live with a domestic partner and a substantial fraction of "single" mothers are cohabiting, often with the child's father. The share of women who have ever cohabited has nearly doubled over the past 25 years, and the majority of nonmarital births now occur to cohabiting, rather than to unpartnered mothers, at all levels of education. The emergence of cohabitation as an alternative to marriage has been a key feature of the post–World War II transformation of the American family. These changes in the patterns and trajectories of family structure have a strong socioeconomic gradient. The important divide is between college graduates and others: individuals who have attended college but do not have a four-year degree have family patterns and trajectories that are very similar to those of high school graduates. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Haveman, Robert; Blank, Rebecca; Moffitt, Robert; Smeeding, Timothy; Wallace, Geoffrey
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    We present a 50-year historical perspective of the nation's antipoverty efforts, describing the evolution of policy during four key periods since 1965. Over this half-century, the initial heavy reliance on cash income support to poor families has eroded; increases in public support came largely in the form of in-kind (e.g., Food Stamps) and tax-related (e.g., the Earned Income Tax Credit) benefits. Work support and the supplementation of earnings substituted for direct support. These shifts eroded the safety net for the most disadvantaged in American society. Three poverty-related analytical developments are also described. The rise of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)—taking account of noncash and tax-related benefits—has corrected some of the serious weaknesses of the official poverty measure (OPM). The SPM measure indicates that the poverty rate has declined over time, rather than being essentially flat as the OPM implies. We also present snapshots of the composition of the poor population in the United States using both the OPM and the SPM, showing progress in reducing...

    We present a 50-year historical perspective of the nation's antipoverty efforts, describing the evolution of policy during four key periods since 1965. Over this half-century, the initial heavy reliance on cash income support to poor families has eroded; increases in public support came largely in the form of in-kind (e.g., Food Stamps) and tax-related (e.g., the Earned Income Tax Credit) benefits. Work support and the supplementation of earnings substituted for direct support. These shifts eroded the safety net for the most disadvantaged in American society. Three poverty-related analytical developments are also described. The rise of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)—taking account of noncash and tax-related benefits—has corrected some of the serious weaknesses of the official poverty measure (OPM). The SPM measure indicates that the poverty rate has declined over time, rather than being essentially flat as the OPM implies. We also present snapshots of the composition of the poor population in the United States using both the OPM and the SPM, showing progress in reducing poverty overall and among specific socioeconomic subgroups since the beginning of the War on Poverty. Finally, we document the expenditure levels of numerous antipoverty programs that have accompanied the several phases of poverty policy and describe the effect of these efforts on the level of poverty. Although the effectiveness of government antipoverty transfers is debated, our findings indicate that the growth of antipoverty policies has reduced the overall level of poverty, with substantial reductions among the elderly, disabled, and blacks. However, the poverty rates for children, especially those living in single-parent families, and families headed by a low-skill, low-education person, have increased. Rates of deep poverty (families living with less than one-half of the poverty line) for the nonelderly population have not decreased, reflecting both the increasing labor market difficulties faced by the low-skill population and the tilt of means-tested benefits away from the poorest of the poor. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Daly, Mary
    Reference Type: Report, White Papers
    Year: 2015

    This paper examines policies for the support of families with children, in particular child-related financial transfers and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. The analysis is mainly focused on countries with institutionalized welfare states – primarily Western European and other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – because that is where child-related benefits and services have the longest history. It focuses on the unfolding of the relevant transfers and services from the period of their inception in the early decades of the 20th century to the reforms that are currently underway. The paper highlights a number of core insights relevant to policy planning and decision-making for child-related transfers and ECEC services: Child-related financial transfers and ECEC services should not be seen as alternatives to each other, both are needed to provide continuous support across the life cycle. Children's needs and well-being should be at the forefront when these policies are designed and put in place. While this may appear self-...

    This paper examines policies for the support of families with children, in particular child-related financial transfers and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. The analysis is mainly focused on countries with institutionalized welfare states – primarily Western European and other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – because that is where child-related benefits and services have the longest history. It focuses on the unfolding of the relevant transfers and services from the period of their inception in the early decades of the 20th century to the reforms that are currently underway. The paper highlights a number of core insights relevant to policy planning and decision-making for child-related transfers and ECEC services: Child-related financial transfers and ECEC services should not be seen as alternatives to each other, both are needed to provide continuous support across the life cycle. Children's needs and well-being should be at the forefront when these policies are designed and put in place. While this may appear self-evident, policies that are intended to meet several objectives can result in a situation where the needs of children are not at the heart of the measures that are assumed to benefit them. The paper also underlines the need for gender equality to be a frontline consideration in this (as in other) policy domains. This paper was produced for UN Women's flagship report Progress of the World's Women 2015-2016, and is released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series. (Author abstract)

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