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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: Brown, K. Steven; Braga, Breno
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Concern is growing among some analysts that recent economic growth in the US has not translated to economic well-being across the board. This study focuses on the share of Americans in financial distress in 2017, a year of relatively low unemployment. We find that a third of moderate-income adults experience financial insecurity in the past 12 months. In addition, one in eight of them say they must turn to high interest rate payday loans, auto title loans, or pawn shops to tide them over. (Author abstract)

     

    Concern is growing among some analysts that recent economic growth in the US has not translated to economic well-being across the board. This study focuses on the share of Americans in financial distress in 2017, a year of relatively low unemployment. We find that a third of moderate-income adults experience financial insecurity in the past 12 months. In addition, one in eight of them say they must turn to high interest rate payday loans, auto title loans, or pawn shops to tide them over. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Brown, Elizabeth; Conroy, Kara; Kirby, Gretchen G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wimer, Christopher; Hartley, Robert Paul; Nam, Jaehyun
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on economic mobility for income, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of poverty or material hardship. This study provides the first estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity and poverty status from childhood into early adulthood. An advantage of studying the transmission of food insecurity is that it provides a direct measure of well-being compared to income-based poverty measures. In this study, we use panels of childhood and adult food security measures in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics over the survey years 1997 (using the Child Development Supplement) through early release data for 2017. Childhood food insecurity is associated with about 20 percentage points higher probability of food insecurity as an adult (or 10 percentage points conditional on income and wealth). The estimated transmission of food insecurity is robust to using different measures of food security as well as...

    The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on economic mobility for income, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of poverty or material hardship. This study provides the first estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity and poverty status from childhood into early adulthood. An advantage of studying the transmission of food insecurity is that it provides a direct measure of well-being compared to income-based poverty measures. In this study, we use panels of childhood and adult food security measures in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics over the survey years 1997 (using the Child Development Supplement) through early release data for 2017. Childhood food insecurity is associated with about 20 percentage points higher probability of food insecurity as an adult (or 10 percentage points conditional on income and wealth). The estimated transmission of food insecurity is robust to using different measures of food security as well as to applying instrumental variable methods for panel data that account for an individual’s fixed ability endowment. This study establishes an important benchmark for measuring persistence in long-term family well-being and labor market outcomes. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Minton, Sarah; Giannarelli, Linda; Werner, Kevin; Tran, Victoria
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This report examines the potential impacts of a set of antipoverty policies proposed by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). This work builds on a previous analysis completed for CDF (Giannarelli et al. 2015); additional details on that study are provided in appendix D of this report. The policies assessed for the current analysis include a minimum wage increase, a transitional jobs (TJ) program, expanded tax credits, increased availability of housing and child care subsidies, increased nutrition benefits, and changes to how benefit programs treat families’ child support income. Using microsimulation, we estimated how much each policy and the entire package of policies would reduce child poverty and how much they would cost. Poverty was assessed using the SPM because that measure considers a family’s cash income as well as the value of the in-kind benefits they receive and the amount of taxes they must pay. (Excerpt from author introduction)

    This report examines the potential impacts of a set of antipoverty policies proposed by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). This work builds on a previous analysis completed for CDF (Giannarelli et al. 2015); additional details on that study are provided in appendix D of this report. The policies assessed for the current analysis include a minimum wage increase, a transitional jobs (TJ) program, expanded tax credits, increased availability of housing and child care subsidies, increased nutrition benefits, and changes to how benefit programs treat families’ child support income. Using microsimulation, we estimated how much each policy and the entire package of policies would reduce child poverty and how much they would cost. Poverty was assessed using the SPM because that measure considers a family’s cash income as well as the value of the in-kind benefits they receive and the amount of taxes they must pay. (Excerpt from author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Acs, Gregory; Wheaton, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The current administration has proposed changing the way we measure inflation when setting the federal poverty thresholds because it believes that the current measure, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), overstates inflation. An alternative measure the administration is considering and seeking public input on is the Chained Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, commonly known as “chained CPI.”

    Switching the inflation measure from CPI-U to the chained CPI would result in slower inflation rates from year to year. The differences between the two inflation measures would be minimal at first but would compound over time. Fewer low-income people would be included among those living under the poverty line and fewer would qualify for programs that use federal poverty guidelines (which are based on the poverty thresholds) to determine eligibility. A program that relies on federal poverty guidelines to determine eligibility is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s primary food assistance program that serves roughly 40 million people...

    The current administration has proposed changing the way we measure inflation when setting the federal poverty thresholds because it believes that the current measure, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), overstates inflation. An alternative measure the administration is considering and seeking public input on is the Chained Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, commonly known as “chained CPI.”

    Switching the inflation measure from CPI-U to the chained CPI would result in slower inflation rates from year to year. The differences between the two inflation measures would be minimal at first but would compound over time. Fewer low-income people would be included among those living under the poverty line and fewer would qualify for programs that use federal poverty guidelines (which are based on the poverty thresholds) to determine eligibility. A program that relies on federal poverty guidelines to determine eligibility is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s primary food assistance program that serves roughly 40 million people per month.

    In this brief, we use Urban’s Analysis of Transfer, Taxes, and Income Security microsimulation model and 2016 American Community Survey data to estimate the number of people who would ultimately lose SNAP benefits if the poverty guidelines were based on poverty thresholds adjusted for inflation using the chained CPI. We find that in 2016:

    • 579,000 SNAP recipients would have been ineligible for SNAP if the chained CPI had been the inflation measure used to adjust federal poverty thresholds for the previous 15 years. Among those recipients, 242,000—or about 42 percent—would have been children.
    • The number of recipients losing SNAP eligibility would grow over time. Had the chained CPI been used for five years prior to 2016, 104,000 SNAP recipients would have been ineligible, and if it had been used for ten years, 245,000 recipients would have been ineligible. 
    • Had the chained CPI been used for the previous 15 years, just over 240,000 SNAP households would have been ineligible in the average month in 2016, including nearly 50,000 households with a person age 60 or older, more than 20,000 households with a person with a disability, and more than 118,000 households with at least one child.
    • The number households that would have been ineligible in 2016 also varies by state with more populous states experiencing the largest reductions in eligibility. Had the chained CPI been used for the previous 15 years, 24,000 households and 15,000 households in New York and California, respectively, would have been ineligible. (Author abstract)

     

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