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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: 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: Whitmore Schanzenbach, Diane; Anderson, Patricia M.; Butcher, Kristin F.; Hoynes, Hilary W.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This project examines why very low food security status among children is different across households with very similar measured resources. Controlling for measures of income-to-needs, we examine whether elements in the environment, household characteristics, or behaviors are systematically correlated with VLFS among children. We use different measures of income-to-needs, including those averaged across years to capture “permanent” income (or to average out measurement error) and measures that include income after taxes and transfers. Our analysis uses the Current Population Survey (across many years, matched December to March), the American Time Use Survey (matched to the December CPS), the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1999-2010), and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We find that, no matter how we control for income-to-needs, certain characteristics appear to be systematically correlated with VLFS among children. In particular, mental and physical disabilities of the household head are strongly correlated with VLFS among children. The presence of teenage...

    This project examines why very low food security status among children is different across households with very similar measured resources. Controlling for measures of income-to-needs, we examine whether elements in the environment, household characteristics, or behaviors are systematically correlated with VLFS among children. We use different measures of income-to-needs, including those averaged across years to capture “permanent” income (or to average out measurement error) and measures that include income after taxes and transfers. Our analysis uses the Current Population Survey (across many years, matched December to March), the American Time Use Survey (matched to the December CPS), the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1999-2010), and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We find that, no matter how we control for income-to-needs, certain characteristics appear to be systematically correlated with VLFS among children. In particular, mental and physical disabilities of the household head are strongly correlated with VLFS among children. The presence of teenage children, holding other aspects of household size and composition constant, predict VLFS among children, suggesting that larger children require more food. Finally, participating in transfer programs is correlated with VLFS among children, suggesting that these households are in the “system.” These patterns suggest pathways for future research and future policy actions to address VLFS among children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shaefer, H. Luke; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study documents an increase in the prevalence of extreme poverty among US households with children between 1996 and 2011 and assesses the response of major federal means-tested transfer programs. Extreme poverty is defined using a World Bank metric of global poverty: $2 or less, per person, per day. Using the 1996–2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP, we estimate that in mid-2011, 1.65 million households with 3.55 million children were living in extreme poverty in a given month, based on cash income, constituting 4.3 percent of all nonelderly households with children. The prevalence of extreme poverty has risen sharply since 1996, particularly among those most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. Adding SNAP benefits to household income reduces the number of extremely poor households with children by 48.0 percent in mid-2011. Adding SNAP, refundable tax credits, and housing subsidies reduces it by 62.8 percent. (Author abstract)

    This article is based on a...

    This study documents an increase in the prevalence of extreme poverty among US households with children between 1996 and 2011 and assesses the response of major federal means-tested transfer programs. Extreme poverty is defined using a World Bank metric of global poverty: $2 or less, per person, per day. Using the 1996–2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP, we estimate that in mid-2011, 1.65 million households with 3.55 million children were living in extreme poverty in a given month, based on cash income, constituting 4.3 percent of all nonelderly households with children. The prevalence of extreme poverty has risen sharply since 1996, particularly among those most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. Adding SNAP benefits to household income reduces the number of extremely poor households with children by 48.0 percent in mid-2011. Adding SNAP, refundable tax credits, and housing subsidies reduces it by 62.8 percent. (Author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Shaefer, H. Luke; Gutierrez, Italo
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study estimates the effects of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the risk of food as well as nonfood material hardships experienced by low-income households with children. Data are drawn from the 1996, 2001, and 2004 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). We examine the relationship between SNAP and material hardships by modeling jointly the likelihood of household participation in SNAP and the risk of experiencing material hardships using a bivariate probit model. We estimate that SNAP reduces household food insecurity by 12.8 percentage points, reduces the risk that households will fall behind on their nonfood essential expenses, including housing (by 7.2 percentage points) and utilities (by 15.3 percentage points), and reduces the risk of medical hardship (by 8.5 percentage points). (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the...

    This study estimates the effects of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the risk of food as well as nonfood material hardships experienced by low-income households with children. Data are drawn from the 1996, 2001, and 2004 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). We examine the relationship between SNAP and material hardships by modeling jointly the likelihood of household participation in SNAP and the risk of experiencing material hardships using a bivariate probit model. We estimate that SNAP reduces household food insecurity by 12.8 percentage points, reduces the risk that households will fall behind on their nonfood essential expenses, including housing (by 7.2 percentage points) and utilities (by 15.3 percentage points), and reduces the risk of medical hardship (by 8.5 percentage points). (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

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