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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: Ashenfelter, Orley; Ashmore, David; Deschênes, Olivier
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    In this paper, we report the results of the only field test of which we are aware that uses randomized trials to measure whether stricter enforcement and verification of work search behavior alone decreases unemployment claims and benefits paid in the U.S. unemployment insurance (UI) program. These experiments, which were implemented in four U.S. sites in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee, were designed to explicitly test claims based on nonexperimental data, summarized in Burgess and Kingston (An Incentives Approach to Improving the Unemployment Compensation System, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1987), that a prime cause of overpayments is the failure of claimants to actively seek work. Our results provide no support for the view that the failure to actively search for work has been a cause of overpayment in the UI system. (Author abstract)

    In this paper, we report the results of the only field test of which we are aware that uses randomized trials to measure whether stricter enforcement and verification of work search behavior alone decreases unemployment claims and benefits paid in the U.S. unemployment insurance (UI) program. These experiments, which were implemented in four U.S. sites in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee, were designed to explicitly test claims based on nonexperimental data, summarized in Burgess and Kingston (An Incentives Approach to Improving the Unemployment Compensation System, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1987), that a prime cause of overpayments is the failure of claimants to actively seek work. Our results provide no support for the view that the failure to actively search for work has been a cause of overpayment in the UI system. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Golonka, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The number of youth aging out of foster care has increased every year since 2001. This population, although small in number, has a high economic cost to state governments and society as a whole. Yet, because there are relatively few of these young people, states that invest in them can make a large positive impact without incurring great cost. This report highlights effective state strategies and promising approaches aimed at improving outcomes for foster youth in the following five areas:

    • Education - promote educational attainment;
    • Employment - connect youth with employment and career training;
    • Housing - enhance access to safe and affordable housing;
    • Health care - help you gain access to and manage health care; and
    • Relationships - help youth build stable and lifelong relationships.

    (author abstract)

    The number of youth aging out of foster care has increased every year since 2001. This population, although small in number, has a high economic cost to state governments and society as a whole. Yet, because there are relatively few of these young people, states that invest in them can make a large positive impact without incurring great cost. This report highlights effective state strategies and promising approaches aimed at improving outcomes for foster youth in the following five areas:

    • Education - promote educational attainment;
    • Employment - connect youth with employment and career training;
    • Housing - enhance access to safe and affordable housing;
    • Health care - help you gain access to and manage health care; and
    • Relationships - help youth build stable and lifelong relationships.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan; Farrell, Mary; Fink, Barbara; Adams-Ciardullo, Diana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Few features of the 1990s welfare reforms have generated as much attention and controversy as time limits on benefit receipt. Time limits first emerged at the state level and subsequently became a central feature of federal welfare policy in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which imposed a 60-month time limit on federally funded assistance for most families.

    To inform discussions about the reauthorization of PRWORA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) to conduct a comprehensive review of what is known about time limits. The project included a survey of state welfare agencies (conducted for MDRC by The Lewin Group), site visits to examine the implementation of time limits, and a review of research on time limits.

    Though a simple idea, time limits raise a host of complex issues in practice. Many experts believe that time limits have played a key role in reshaping welfare, but the knowledge base about this key policy change is still...

    Few features of the 1990s welfare reforms have generated as much attention and controversy as time limits on benefit receipt. Time limits first emerged at the state level and subsequently became a central feature of federal welfare policy in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which imposed a 60-month time limit on federally funded assistance for most families.

    To inform discussions about the reauthorization of PRWORA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) to conduct a comprehensive review of what is known about time limits. The project included a survey of state welfare agencies (conducted for MDRC by The Lewin Group), site visits to examine the implementation of time limits, and a review of research on time limits.

    Though a simple idea, time limits raise a host of complex issues in practice. Many experts believe that time limits have played a key role in reshaping welfare, but the knowledge base about this key policy change is still thin. Few families have reached the federal time limit, and it is too early to draw conclusions about how states will respond as more families reach limits or how families will fare without benefits over the long-term, in varying economic conditions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pavetti, LaDonna; Derr, Michelle; Anderson, Jacquelyn; Trippe, Carole; Paschal, Sidnee
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Although it is perceived that many welfare offices are using intermediaries to link welfare recipients with jobs, very little is known about how widely they are used, who these intermediaries are, how they operate or the issues they face in linking welfare recipients with jobs.  To better understand the characteristics of intermediary organizations and their role in current welfare reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) to conduct the exploratory research documented in this report.  This research has four purposes:

    1. To describe the characteristics of intermediaries
    2. To describe the key decisions local welfare offices have made regarding the use of intermediaries
    3. To provide in-depth information on the types of services intermediaries provide, the process they use to link welfare recipients with employers and the challenges they face
    4. To identify lessons that can benefit policymakers and other or...

    Although it is perceived that many welfare offices are using intermediaries to link welfare recipients with jobs, very little is known about how widely they are used, who these intermediaries are, how they operate or the issues they face in linking welfare recipients with jobs.  To better understand the characteristics of intermediary organizations and their role in current welfare reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) to conduct the exploratory research documented in this report.  This research has four purposes:

    1. To describe the characteristics of intermediaries
    2. To describe the key decisions local welfare offices have made regarding the use of intermediaries
    3. To provide in-depth information on the types of services intermediaries provide, the process they use to link welfare recipients with employers and the challenges they face
    4. To identify lessons that can benefit policymakers and other or newly emerging intermediaries and assess the implications of the findings for future research on welfare employment efforts

    The devolution of responsibility from the federal government to the states for developing and implementing assistance policies for needy families has spawned a broad range of approaches to transforming the welfare system into a work-based assistance system.  To capture the way intermediaries function in these diverse policy environments, information for this study was gathered through site visits to 20 sites, one urban and one rural in each of ten states.  Sites were selected to provide broad regional representation; a mix of large, medium, and small TANF caseloads; different approaches to moving welfare recipients into employment; and a diversity of administrative and service delivery structures.  Site visits were conducted between April and August 1999 by researchers from MPR and our subcontractor, the National Alliance of Businesses (NAB). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mikelson, Kelly S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Since the passage of PRWORA, there have been numerous efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of TANF and related programs and subpopulations. Some of the many issues being studied and described in this annotated bibliography include:

    • - The well-being of former welfare recipients;
    • - Evaluating various Welfare-to-Work strategies;
    • - Employment retention and advancement initiatives;
    • - Rural welfare initiatives;
    • - Programs designed to serve noncustodial parents;
    • - Hard-to-serve welfare recipients and barriers to self-sufficiency;
    • - Changes in the welfare caseload; and
    • - Welfare time limits
    • - TANF reauthorization.

    (author abstract)

    Since the passage of PRWORA, there have been numerous efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of TANF and related programs and subpopulations. Some of the many issues being studied and described in this annotated bibliography include:

    • - The well-being of former welfare recipients;
    • - Evaluating various Welfare-to-Work strategies;
    • - Employment retention and advancement initiatives;
    • - Rural welfare initiatives;
    • - Programs designed to serve noncustodial parents;
    • - Hard-to-serve welfare recipients and barriers to self-sufficiency;
    • - Changes in the welfare caseload; and
    • - Welfare time limits
    • - TANF reauthorization.

    (author abstract)

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