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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: Gagnon, Douglas; Mattingly, Beth; Schaefer, Andrew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the nation, offering tax credits to low- and moderate-earning families. The amount of EITC benefits varies by earnings and the number of dependent children in a family, with considerably more generous benefits going to families with children. In addition to the federal EITC, as of 2015, twenty-six states and the District of Columbia provided additional EITC dollars. Most state EITCs are generally structured such that they offer credits equal to a proportion of the federal EITC, varying from 3.5 percent in Louisiana to 40 percent in Washington, DC. This brief documents the estimated effects of state EITC benefits on rates of poverty in 2010–2014 using the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). First, we examine Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rates and average EITC benefits across states with a fully refundable EITC between 2010 and 2014, and estimate how much higher poverty rates would have been in the absence of the state EITC. Next, we analyze how...

    The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the nation, offering tax credits to low- and moderate-earning families. The amount of EITC benefits varies by earnings and the number of dependent children in a family, with considerably more generous benefits going to families with children. In addition to the federal EITC, as of 2015, twenty-six states and the District of Columbia provided additional EITC dollars. Most state EITCs are generally structured such that they offer credits equal to a proportion of the federal EITC, varying from 3.5 percent in Louisiana to 40 percent in Washington, DC. This brief documents the estimated effects of state EITC benefits on rates of poverty in 2010–2014 using the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). First, we examine Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rates and average EITC benefits across states with a fully refundable EITC between 2010 and 2014, and estimate how much higher poverty rates would have been in the absence of the state EITC. Next, we analyze how trends in poverty and state EITC benefits vary by race, marital status, metropolitan status, and region among these states. Finally, we project hypothetical differences in poverty rates for non-EITC states had they adopted EITCs of various generosities over this same time period. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pilkauskas, Natasha ; Michelmore, Katherine
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Housing instability (inability to pay rent, frequent moves, doubling up, eviction, or homelessness) is common among low-income households and is linked with a host of negative outcomes for families and children. As rents have risen and wages have not kept pace, housing affordability has declined over the last 15 years, increasing rates of housing instability. In this study, we examine whether the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a key US social welfare policy and one of the largest cash transfer programs in the US, reduces housing instability. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we employ a simulated instruments strategy to examine whether policy-induced expansions in the EITC reduce housing instability. Results suggest that a $1,000 increase in the EITC reduces doubling up (living with other non-nuclear family adults) 3 to 5 percentage points. We find some suggestive evidence that the EITC decreases the average number of moves per year (0.05 moves). While our results suggest that the EITC...

    Housing instability (inability to pay rent, frequent moves, doubling up, eviction, or homelessness) is common among low-income households and is linked with a host of negative outcomes for families and children. As rents have risen and wages have not kept pace, housing affordability has declined over the last 15 years, increasing rates of housing instability. In this study, we examine whether the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a key US social welfare policy and one of the largest cash transfer programs in the US, reduces housing instability. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we employ a simulated instruments strategy to examine whether policy-induced expansions in the EITC reduce housing instability. Results suggest that a $1,000 increase in the EITC reduces doubling up (living with other non-nuclear family adults) 3 to 5 percentage points. We find some suggestive evidence that the EITC decreases the average number of moves per year (0.05 moves). While our results suggest that the EITC does decrease certain, less severe forms of housing instability, we find no evidence that the EITC decreases more extreme (and rarer) forms of housing instability: eviction or homelessness. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2017

    This presentation from the Community Action Partnership 2017 Annual Convention reviewed approaches to housing assistance.

    This presentation from the Community Action Partnership 2017 Annual Convention reviewed approaches to housing assistance.

  • Individual Author: Lein, Laura; Romich, Jennifer L.; Sherraden, Michael
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2016

    Extreme economic inequality has taken hold in the United States. Fostered in part by misguided policies and intentional choices, it can be reversed through purposeful action. However, social policies created for the industrial age face relentless political opposition and are not meeting the social welfare challenges of the information age. A new social contract is required. This paper elaborates key components of that contract, identifying social innovations to increase income at the bottom of society and reduce wealth disparities. Through such innovations, the United States can reverse extreme economic inequality. Because of social work’s history in addressing injustice and reforming policy, the profession is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge and has critical roles to play in addressing it. (Author abstract)

    Extreme economic inequality has taken hold in the United States. Fostered in part by misguided policies and intentional choices, it can be reversed through purposeful action. However, social policies created for the industrial age face relentless political opposition and are not meeting the social welfare challenges of the information age. A new social contract is required. This paper elaborates key components of that contract, identifying social innovations to increase income at the bottom of society and reduce wealth disparities. Through such innovations, the United States can reverse extreme economic inequality. Because of social work’s history in addressing injustice and reforming policy, the profession is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge and has critical roles to play in addressing it. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wimer, Christopher; Mattingly, Marybeth; Kimberlin, Sara; Fisher, Jonathan; Danielson, Caroline; Bohn, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is widely regarded as the country’s most effective antipoverty pro­gram. The federal EITC is quite substantial: It averaged nearly $2,400 for California filers who claimed it on their 2013 tax returns. But many states nonetheless augment it with a supple­mentary earned income tax credit. Starting in 2015, California became one of 25 states to include a state EITC in its mix of social safety net programs.

    This policy brief provides estimates of the number of tax filers who qualify for the new California EITC and the amounts they will receive. It does so by modeling the California EITC as if it had been implemented in tax year 2013. We then examine the extent to which such a credit might reduce poverty and nar­row poverty gaps among recipients and their family members. Finally, we compare the enacted policy to other potential pro­gram expansions in terms of cost, reach, average benefit, and poverty reduction.

    Throughout, we rely on data from the American Community Sur­vey (ACS), and we assess poverty status using the 2013...

    The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is widely regarded as the country’s most effective antipoverty pro­gram. The federal EITC is quite substantial: It averaged nearly $2,400 for California filers who claimed it on their 2013 tax returns. But many states nonetheless augment it with a supple­mentary earned income tax credit. Starting in 2015, California became one of 25 states to include a state EITC in its mix of social safety net programs.

    This policy brief provides estimates of the number of tax filers who qualify for the new California EITC and the amounts they will receive. It does so by modeling the California EITC as if it had been implemented in tax year 2013. We then examine the extent to which such a credit might reduce poverty and nar­row poverty gaps among recipients and their family members. Finally, we compare the enacted policy to other potential pro­gram expansions in terms of cost, reach, average benefit, and poverty reduction.

    Throughout, we rely on data from the American Community Sur­vey (ACS), and we assess poverty status using the 2013 California Poverty Measure (CPM), the most recent CPM data available. The CPM, which is closely modeled on the Census Bureau’s Supple­mental Poverty Measure, categorizes individuals as poor based on an enhanced definition of family resources. This definition not only reflects pre-tax cash income, but also taxes and other nec­essary expenses paid, tax credits earned, and in-kind benefits received. The poverty level is then computed by comparing this augmented definition of resources against a threshold adjusted for county-level differences in cost of living. (Author abstract)

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