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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: Moffitt, Robert A.; Ribar, David C.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    A long literature in economics concerns itself with differential allocations of resources to different children within the family unit. In a study of approximately 1,500 very disadvantaged families with children in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders. Using answers to unique survey questions for a specific child in the family, food insecurity levels are found to be much higher among older boys and girls than among younger ones, and to be sometimes higher among older boys than among older girls. Differential allocations are strongly correlated with the dietary and nutritional needs of the child. However, the differences in allocation appear only in the poorest families with the lowest levels of money income and family resources in general, and most differences disappear in significance or are greatly reduced in magnitude when resources rise to only modest levels. Differences in food insecurity across...

    A long literature in economics concerns itself with differential allocations of resources to different children within the family unit. In a study of approximately 1,500 very disadvantaged families with children in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders. Using answers to unique survey questions for a specific child in the family, food insecurity levels are found to be much higher among older boys and girls than among younger ones, and to be sometimes higher among older boys than among older girls. Differential allocations are strongly correlated with the dietary and nutritional needs of the child. However, the differences in allocation appear only in the poorest families with the lowest levels of money income and family resources in general, and most differences disappear in significance or are greatly reduced in magnitude when resources rise to only modest levels. Differences in food insecurity across different types of children therefore appear to be a problem primarily only among the worst-off families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wimer, Christopher; Mattingly, Marybeth; Danielson, Caroline; Kimberlin, Sara; Bohn, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The California Poverty Measure (CPM) is released annually to document the overall poverty rate, demographic differences in poverty, county and regional differences in poverty, and the effects of government policies and programs on poverty. The CPM was first released with 2011 data by a team of researchers from the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. It will continue to be released annually and with a reduced time lag as the CPM protocol comes to be regularized. (Author introduction)

    The California Poverty Measure (CPM) is released annually to document the overall poverty rate, demographic differences in poverty, county and regional differences in poverty, and the effects of government policies and programs on poverty. The CPM was first released with 2011 data by a team of researchers from the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. It will continue to be released annually and with a reduced time lag as the CPM protocol comes to be regularized. (Author introduction)

  • 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)

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