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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: Miller, Cynthia; Schultz, Caroline; Bernardi, Alexandra
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Despite this broad support, an EITC expansion for adults without children has yet to become policy in today’s environment of budget ceilings and efforts to rein in spending. The Paycheck Plus study will inform this debate by presenting evidence on the effects of this type of policy on low-wage workers’ income and earnings. This brief, the second in a series, provides an update on the project, describing the implementation of the bonus during the first year and receipt rates during the 2015 tax season. The brief also discusses the forthcoming test of Paycheck Plus in Atlanta, Georgia, which will provide evidence of its effects in a different context from New York City. (Edited author introduction)

    Despite this broad support, an EITC expansion for adults without children has yet to become policy in today’s environment of budget ceilings and efforts to rein in spending. The Paycheck Plus study will inform this debate by presenting evidence on the effects of this type of policy on low-wage workers’ income and earnings. This brief, the second in a series, provides an update on the project, describing the implementation of the bonus during the first year and receipt rates during the 2015 tax season. The brief also discusses the forthcoming test of Paycheck Plus in Atlanta, Georgia, which will provide evidence of its effects in a different context from New York City. (Edited author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Hamad, Rita; Rehkopf, David H.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Although adverse socioeconomic conditions are correlated with worse child health and development, the effects of poverty-alleviation policies are less understood. We examined the associations of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on child development and used an instrumental variable approach to estimate the potential impacts of income. We used data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 8,186) during 1986-2000 to examine effects on the Behavioral Problems Index (BPI) and Home Observation Measurement of the Environment inventory (HOME) scores. We conducted 2 analyses. In the first, we used multivariate linear regressions with child-level fixed effects to examine the association of EITC payment size with BPI and HOME scores; in the second, we used EITC payment size as an instrument to estimate the associations of income with BPI and HOME scores. In linear regression models, higher EITC payments were associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000,  B = -0.57; P = 0.04). In instrumental variable analyses, higher income was associated with improved short-...

    Although adverse socioeconomic conditions are correlated with worse child health and development, the effects of poverty-alleviation policies are less understood. We examined the associations of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on child development and used an instrumental variable approach to estimate the potential impacts of income. We used data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 8,186) during 1986-2000 to examine effects on the Behavioral Problems Index (BPI) and Home Observation Measurement of the Environment inventory (HOME) scores. We conducted 2 analyses. In the first, we used multivariate linear regressions with child-level fixed effects to examine the association of EITC payment size with BPI and HOME scores; in the second, we used EITC payment size as an instrument to estimate the associations of income with BPI and HOME scores. In linear regression models, higher EITC payments were associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000,  B = -0.57; P = 0.04). In instrumental variable analyses, higher income was associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000, B = -0.47; P = 0.01) and medium-term HOME scores (per $1,000, B = 0.64; P = 0.02). Our results suggest that both EITC benefits and higher income are associated with modest but meaningful improvements in child development. These findings provide valuable information for health researchers and policymakers for improving child health and development. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brown, Amy
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2005

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation has been an active supporter of Earned Income Tax Credit Campaigns across the United States. Building on existing services in their communities, these campaigns provide: (1) education and outreach to promote the EITC and other tax credits for qualified working-poor families; (2) free or low-priced quality tax preparation services; and (3) links to other programs and services so that tax filers can use their refunds to build financial assets.

    While the campaigns have helped hundreds of thousands of low-income workers receive tens of millions in tax refunds, they have been expensive and labor-intensive to operate. Given the campaigns’ ambitious goals and limited resources, there is increasing interest in identifying alternative models that have greater potential for scale, sustainability and impact. Beginning in late 2003, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, working through the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, provided grants and technical assistance to a limited number of EITC campaigns to support the design, development and pilot...

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation has been an active supporter of Earned Income Tax Credit Campaigns across the United States. Building on existing services in their communities, these campaigns provide: (1) education and outreach to promote the EITC and other tax credits for qualified working-poor families; (2) free or low-priced quality tax preparation services; and (3) links to other programs and services so that tax filers can use their refunds to build financial assets.

    While the campaigns have helped hundreds of thousands of low-income workers receive tens of millions in tax refunds, they have been expensive and labor-intensive to operate. Given the campaigns’ ambitious goals and limited resources, there is increasing interest in identifying alternative models that have greater potential for scale, sustainability and impact. Beginning in late 2003, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, working through the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, provided grants and technical assistance to a limited number of EITC campaigns to support the design, development and pilot implementation of innovative approaches to EITC outreach, tax preparation and asset development.

    In 2005, five campaigns tested variations of three approaches to achieving scale, sustainability and impact. Those approaches involved partnerships with employers, government and commercial tax preparers. Over the course of the year, the Aspen Institute documented the design, implementation and results of each of pilots. This paper draws on all five experiences to extract common themes. The lessons learned can help expand our understanding of the challenge of scale for the community economic development field.

    The starting point for approaching this topic is a framework developed by the Aspen Institute to describe how initiatives grow. The model proposes that it takes time to move to scale, and that critical steps along the journey – including standardization and infrastructure-building – are often left out in the rush to expand or replicate.

    With this in mind, this paper draws on the five pilot experiences to examine the following questions:
    How can we develop the infrastructure needed to bring community economic development efforts to scale?
    What information or knowledge is missing that can help achieve scale?
    What role does operational capacity play in the pursuit of scale?
    What factors make a model scalable?

    The answers to these questions, as informed by the EITC pilots and described here, are striking in how well they mirror current thinking in the private sector about growth and scale. Indeed, while the language and context of the nonprofit sector are different, the path to scale may be surprisingly similar. Taken together, information culled from the three sources – the Aspen framework, lessons from the pilots and private sector parallels – can help create a roadmap for next steps in the pursuit of scale in community economic development. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Sykes, Jennifer; Kriz, Katrin; Edin, Kathryn; Halpern-Meekin, Sarah
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption. Furthermore, unlike other means-tested government transfers, the credit is seen as a springboard for upward mobility. Thus, by conferring dignity and spurring dreams, the EITC enhances feelings of citizenship and social inclusion. (Author abstract)

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption. Furthermore, unlike other means-tested government transfers, the credit is seen as a springboard for upward mobility. Thus, by conferring dignity and spurring dreams, the EITC enhances feelings of citizenship and social inclusion. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mendenhall, Ruby; Kramer, Karen Z.; Bellisle, Dylan
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Research on social mobility of low and moderate income families often uses objective measures and economic indicators of social mobility and quantitative research methods. In this paper we use a qualitative approach to understand how social mobility in terms of homeownership and desired neighborhood is pursued by 194 working families who received more than $1,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Specifically, we use cumulative advantage and disadvantage theory to explore the pathways and threats families encounter in their attempts to achieve homeownership and residence in desired neighborhoods. We find that families use different strategies to achieve social mobility and that the most successful families follow multiple strategies that involve pathways used by more affluent families like savings and help from family and friends as well as using social and governmental program and rent-to-own agreements. We discuss the implication for families, social organizations, and policymakers. (Author abstract)

    Research on social mobility of low and moderate income families often uses objective measures and economic indicators of social mobility and quantitative research methods. In this paper we use a qualitative approach to understand how social mobility in terms of homeownership and desired neighborhood is pursued by 194 working families who received more than $1,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Specifically, we use cumulative advantage and disadvantage theory to explore the pathways and threats families encounter in their attempts to achieve homeownership and residence in desired neighborhoods. We find that families use different strategies to achieve social mobility and that the most successful families follow multiple strategies that involve pathways used by more affluent families like savings and help from family and friends as well as using social and governmental program and rent-to-own agreements. We discuss the implication for families, social organizations, and policymakers. (Author abstract)

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