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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: Koball, Heather; Jiang, Yang
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent are low-income children and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold.

    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 children and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their more advantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

     

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent are low-income children and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold.

    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 children and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their more advantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Since the mid-1960s, the rate of prime-age American men working or actively looking for work has steadily declined. During this time period, marriage rates have also fallen precipitously, particularly among less-educated groups. A growing body of research has also begun to document a rise in poor health and premature mortality among these populations. These demographic and health-related shifts both reflect and contribute to poverty and economic inequality. Reversing these trends has the potential to improve labor force participation and social well-being as well as boost economic growth. This brief synthesizes current research on work and well-being among less-educated men, many of whom are low-income or poor. It highlights the recent research on labor market characteristics, barriers to work, and family and social ties, and identifies knowledge gaps about why these men's labor force participation has fallen and how social policy can address this trend. (Author abstract)

    Since the mid-1960s, the rate of prime-age American men working or actively looking for work has steadily declined. During this time period, marriage rates have also fallen precipitously, particularly among less-educated groups. A growing body of research has also begun to document a rise in poor health and premature mortality among these populations. These demographic and health-related shifts both reflect and contribute to poverty and economic inequality. Reversing these trends has the potential to improve labor force participation and social well-being as well as boost economic growth. This brief synthesizes current research on work and well-being among less-educated men, many of whom are low-income or poor. It highlights the recent research on labor market characteristics, barriers to work, and family and social ties, and identifies knowledge gaps about why these men's labor force participation has fallen and how social policy can address this trend. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: DeLeire, Thomas; Hardy, Bradley; Bhattacharya, Jay
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Our research project addressed the question of how well SNAP and the social safety net protects families against the risk of food insecurity and poor health during economic downturns. Previous research has documented the relationship between reductions in family incomes and food insufficiency and has examined the effects of resources that mitigate the effects of income volatility. The U.S. social safety net, including SNAP, exists to mitigate the deleterious effects of swings in family income, particularly among low- and moderate-income households. This work compares outcomes for lower income families and higher income families in response to economic downturns. To the extent that nutritional, food security and food-related health outcomes are unaffected by economic downturns, there is implicit evidence that the social safety net is working to protect economically disadvantaged families. (Author abstract) 

    Our research project addressed the question of how well SNAP and the social safety net protects families against the risk of food insecurity and poor health during economic downturns. Previous research has documented the relationship between reductions in family incomes and food insufficiency and has examined the effects of resources that mitigate the effects of income volatility. The U.S. social safety net, including SNAP, exists to mitigate the deleterious effects of swings in family income, particularly among low- and moderate-income households. This work compares outcomes for lower income families and higher income families in response to economic downturns. To the extent that nutritional, food security and food-related health outcomes are unaffected by economic downturns, there is implicit evidence that the social safety net is working to protect economically disadvantaged families. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Hoynes, Hilary ; Bronchetti, Erin; Christensen, Garret
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The food stamp program (SNAP) is one of the most important elements of the social safety net and is the second largest anti-poverty program for children in the U.S. (only the EITC raises more children above poverty). The program varies little across states and over time, which creates challenges for quasi-experimental evaluation. Notably, SNAP benefit levels are fixed across 48 states; but local food prices vary widely, leading to substantial variation in the real value of SNAP benefits. In this study, we leverage time variation in the real value of the SNAP benefit across markets to examine the effects of SNAP on child health. We link panel data on regional food prices and the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan, as measured by the USDA’s Quarterly Food at Home Price Database, to restricted-access geo-located National Health Interview Survey data on samples of SNAP-recipient and SNAP-eligible children. We estimate the relationship between the real value of SNAP benefits (i.e., the ratio of the SNAP maximum benefit to the TFP price faced by a household) and children’s health and health...

    The food stamp program (SNAP) is one of the most important elements of the social safety net and is the second largest anti-poverty program for children in the U.S. (only the EITC raises more children above poverty). The program varies little across states and over time, which creates challenges for quasi-experimental evaluation. Notably, SNAP benefit levels are fixed across 48 states; but local food prices vary widely, leading to substantial variation in the real value of SNAP benefits. In this study, we leverage time variation in the real value of the SNAP benefit across markets to examine the effects of SNAP on child health. We link panel data on regional food prices and the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan, as measured by the USDA’s Quarterly Food at Home Price Database, to restricted-access geo-located National Health Interview Survey data on samples of SNAP-recipient and SNAP-eligible children. We estimate the relationship between the real value of SNAP benefits (i.e., the ratio of the SNAP maximum benefit to the TFP price faced by a household) and children’s health and health care utilization, in a fixed effects framework that controls for a number of individual-level and region characteristics, including non-food prices. Our findings indicate that children in market regions with a lower real value of SNAP benefits utilize significantly less health care, and may utilize emergency room care at increased rates. Lower real SNAP benefits also lead to an increase in school absences but we find no effect on reported health status. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Hernandez, Diana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Low-income families seeking housing must figure out how to make the most of a limited budget, while also trying to ensure their health and safety. This task is especially challenging given the inadequate housing choices and poor neighborhood conditions poor families face, so much so that the constrained decision-making itself may create or exacerbate health risks. This article illustrates how low-income families navigate and balance housing decisions, and the health implications of their choices. The qualitative study described here uses in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations to explore the links between housing, neighborhood, and health for 72 low-income families in the inner-city neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts. The low-income inner-city residents included in this study devised a variety of strategies in response to neighborhood safety risks, many of which led to them spending more time at home. This reliance on the home environment exposed residents to other health and safety risks within their homes. Based on results from the in-depth interviews as well...

    Low-income families seeking housing must figure out how to make the most of a limited budget, while also trying to ensure their health and safety. This task is especially challenging given the inadequate housing choices and poor neighborhood conditions poor families face, so much so that the constrained decision-making itself may create or exacerbate health risks. This article illustrates how low-income families navigate and balance housing decisions, and the health implications of their choices. The qualitative study described here uses in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations to explore the links between housing, neighborhood, and health for 72 low-income families in the inner-city neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts. The low-income inner-city residents included in this study devised a variety of strategies in response to neighborhood safety risks, many of which led to them spending more time at home. This reliance on the home environment exposed residents to other health and safety risks within their homes. Based on results from the in-depth interviews as well as ethnographic observations, I propose two alternate approaches that may more effectively address the conditions poor families face in their homes and neighborhoods. (Author introduction)

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