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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: Smeeding, Tim
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Some children are the blameless victims of poverty, while others are the lucky beneficiaries of affluence. We use the terms "blameless" or "lucky" because, as best we can tell, children do not choose their parents. It all depends on where the stork happens to drop them. However, the case against child poverty goes beyond this now-standard point that poor children do not deserve their fate. There is also a strong consequentialist case against poverty. In many countries, both rich and poor, child poverty threatens future national income growth and stability. Societies with lower child poverty rates have higher rates of economic mobility and greater equality of opportunity, and thus better exploit their available talent. It follows that it is in everyone's interest, not just that of poor children, to minimize child poverty. Whatever the larger macroeconomic effects of poverty may be, it is clear that early-childhood poverty leads to major downstream problems for the children experiencing it. Poverty in early years can have long-lasting consequences for brain...

    Some children are the blameless victims of poverty, while others are the lucky beneficiaries of affluence. We use the terms "blameless" or "lucky" because, as best we can tell, children do not choose their parents. It all depends on where the stork happens to drop them. However, the case against child poverty goes beyond this now-standard point that poor children do not deserve their fate. There is also a strong consequentialist case against poverty. In many countries, both rich and poor, child poverty threatens future national income growth and stability. Societies with lower child poverty rates have higher rates of economic mobility and greater equality of opportunity, and thus better exploit their available talent. It follows that it is in everyone's interest, not just that of poor children, to minimize child poverty. Whatever the larger macroeconomic effects of poverty may be, it is clear that early-childhood poverty leads to major downstream problems for the children experiencing it. Poverty in early years can have long-lasting consequences for brain development, health status, school performance, labor market outcomes, and future well-being more generally. And family instability, which is frequently linked to poverty, has negative effects as well. When children are raised in households with constantly changing family members, housing, and income, they experience negative consequences across the life course. The case for taking child poverty more seriously is accordingly strong. Why, then, doesn't our country have a long-term plan to reduce poverty substantially? The purpose of this essay is to discuss what types of anti-poverty plans would be consistent with the social science evidence and also dramatically reduce child poverty. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Varner, Charles; Mattingly, Marybeth; Grusky, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    In recent years, much attention has been paid to the changing structure of U.S. income inequality, but somewhat less to the changing structure of U.S. poverty. Why has the discussion of "new poverty facts" been sidelined? It is certainly not because the changes have been minor or unimportant. To the contrary, the landscape of U.S. poverty appears to be changing rapidly, with many of the most popular proposals to reform the country's safety net motivated precisely by new empirical developments. But these developments have typically been invoked in piecemeal fashion and have not captivated the country to the extent that the spectacular takeoff in income inequality has. Although there are many reasons for this reticence (including the obvious one that recent trends in income inequality are, by any standard, especially dramatic), we cannot dismiss the frequently voiced worry that an open discussion would be counterproductive because some reformers might seize on that discussion to justify reforms oriented more toward reducing spending than reducing poverty. This worry...

    In recent years, much attention has been paid to the changing structure of U.S. income inequality, but somewhat less to the changing structure of U.S. poverty. Why has the discussion of "new poverty facts" been sidelined? It is certainly not because the changes have been minor or unimportant. To the contrary, the landscape of U.S. poverty appears to be changing rapidly, with many of the most popular proposals to reform the country's safety net motivated precisely by new empirical developments. But these developments have typically been invoked in piecemeal fashion and have not captivated the country to the extent that the spectacular takeoff in income inequality has. Although there are many reasons for this reticence (including the obvious one that recent trends in income inequality are, by any standard, especially dramatic), we cannot dismiss the frequently voiced worry that an open discussion would be counterproductive because some reformers might seize on that discussion to justify reforms oriented more toward reducing spending than reducing poverty. This worry sometimes leads to less-than-transparent discussion. We offer this article in the admittedly quaint hope that it is better to operate with full and complete transparency and that an open and honest discussion of the facts will in the end lead to informed poverty-reducing policy. The simple predicate of this piece is that, given the massive externalities brought on by running a high-poverty economy, there is an open-and-shut case for reform efforts that are authentically focused on reducing the poverty rate. We will attempt, therefore, to identify the key poverty facts that such legitimate reform efforts should bear in mind. In the course of doing so, we will reveal how the current array of reform proposals, including those published here, attend to different sets of stylized facts. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Gelatt, Julia; Koball, Heather; Bernstein, Hamutal; Runes, Charmaine; Pratt, Eleanor
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Over seven million U.S. children live with at least one noncitizen parent -- and 80 percent of these children are US-born citizens. Close to 5 million US-citizen children live with an unauthorized immigrant parent, potentially subject to deportation. Research has shown that the deportation of a parent has serious deleterious effects on families—emotional distress, behavioral issues, and economic hardship for children—and that even the threat of deportation can hurt a family’s well-being by causing fear that restricts mobility, access to jobs, and use of public and private supports in times of need. The election of President Trump, with his plans to increase efforts to identify and deport unauthorized immigrants, has signaled a harsher policy environment for immigrant families than in recent years. In State Immigration Enforcement Policies: How They Impact Low-Income Households, researchers at NCCP, Urban Institute, and Migration Policy Institute looked at how the changing immigration policy environment is likely to affect immigrant families. Specifically, the report examines...

    Over seven million U.S. children live with at least one noncitizen parent -- and 80 percent of these children are US-born citizens. Close to 5 million US-citizen children live with an unauthorized immigrant parent, potentially subject to deportation. Research has shown that the deportation of a parent has serious deleterious effects on families—emotional distress, behavioral issues, and economic hardship for children—and that even the threat of deportation can hurt a family’s well-being by causing fear that restricts mobility, access to jobs, and use of public and private supports in times of need. The election of President Trump, with his plans to increase efforts to identify and deport unauthorized immigrants, has signaled a harsher policy environment for immigrant families than in recent years. In State Immigration Enforcement Policies: How They Impact Low-Income Households, researchers at NCCP, Urban Institute, and Migration Policy Institute looked at how the changing immigration policy environment is likely to affect immigrant families. Specifically, the report examines whether immigrant families living in states that ramped up enforcement of federal policy saw any changes in their material hardship, or how often fear of deportation affected their ability to pay for essentials (such as rent, utilities, or food). Developed with an interactive “State Immigration Policy Resource”, the report highlights important connections between immigration policy enforcement and well-being in immigrant households. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Jiang, Yang; Granja, Maribel R.; Koball, Heather
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 43 percent live in low-income families and 21 percent—approximately one in five—lives in a poor family. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 33 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold. Among our oldest children, adolescents ages 12 through 17 years, 39 percent live in low-income families and 18 percent live in poor families. Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children’s experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of adolescents and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children in this age group from their less disadvantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 43 percent live in low-income families and 21 percent—approximately one in five—lives in a poor family. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 33 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold. Among our oldest children, adolescents ages 12 through 17 years, 39 percent live in low-income families and 18 percent live in poor families. Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children’s experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of adolescents and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children in this age group from their less disadvantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Kalil, Ariel
    Reference Type: Conference Paper, Report
    Year: 2017

    This article presents a brief overview of gaps by family income in some important child development outcomes. I argue that a big part of the mechanism in linking poverty to child development outcomes works through differences by family background in parenting, and I review efforts to narrow gaps in how parents interact with their children by family income. Finally, I describe my current research project, which draws on behavioral economics for insight into how parents make decisions about investing time with their children, how that process might differ by family background, and what promise those findings might hold for intervention efforts. (author introduction)

    This article presents a brief overview of gaps by family income in some important child development outcomes. I argue that a big part of the mechanism in linking poverty to child development outcomes works through differences by family background in parenting, and I review efforts to narrow gaps in how parents interact with their children by family income. Finally, I describe my current research project, which draws on behavioral economics for insight into how parents make decisions about investing time with their children, how that process might differ by family background, and what promise those findings might hold for intervention efforts. (author introduction)

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