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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: Neumark, David; Shirley, Peter
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    We use longitudinal data on marriage and children from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to characterize women’s exposure to the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) during their first two decades of adulthood. We then use measures of this exposure to estimate the long-run effects of the EITC on women’s earnings as mature adults. We find some evidence indicating that exposure to a more generous EITC when women were unmarried and had young (pre-school) children leads to higher earnings and hours, and perhaps wages, in the longer run. We also find some evidence that exposure to a more generous EITC when women had young children but were married leads to lower earnings and hours in the longer run. These longer-run effects are to some extent consistent with what we would expect if the short-run effects of the EITC on employment that are documented in other work, and predicted by theory, are reflected in effects of the EITC on cumulative labor market experience (and other consequences of labor market attachment) that influence earnings. (Author abstract) 

    We use longitudinal data on marriage and children from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to characterize women’s exposure to the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) during their first two decades of adulthood. We then use measures of this exposure to estimate the long-run effects of the EITC on women’s earnings as mature adults. We find some evidence indicating that exposure to a more generous EITC when women were unmarried and had young (pre-school) children leads to higher earnings and hours, and perhaps wages, in the longer run. We also find some evidence that exposure to a more generous EITC when women had young children but were married leads to lower earnings and hours in the longer run. These longer-run effects are to some extent consistent with what we would expect if the short-run effects of the EITC on employment that are documented in other work, and predicted by theory, are reflected in effects of the EITC on cumulative labor market experience (and other consequences of labor market attachment) that influence earnings. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Chetty, Raj; Hendren, Nathanial; Kline, Patrick; Saez, Emmanuel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This paper develops a framework to study the effects of tax expenditures on intergenerational mobility using spatial variation in tax expenditures across the United States. We measure intergenerational mobility at the local (census commuting zone) level based on the correlation between parents’ and children’s earnings. We show that the level of local tax expenditures (as a percentage of AGI) is positively correlated with intergenerational mobility and that this correlation is robust to introducing controls for local area characteristics. To understand the mechanisms driving this correlation, we analyze the largest tax expenditures in greater detail. We find that the level and the progressivity of state income taxes are positively correlated with intergenerational mobility. Mortgage interest deductions are also positively related to intergenerational mobility. Finally, we find significant positive correlations between state EITC policy and intergenerational mobility. We conclude by discussing other applications of this  methodology to evaluate the net benefits of tax expenditures...

    This paper develops a framework to study the effects of tax expenditures on intergenerational mobility using spatial variation in tax expenditures across the United States. We measure intergenerational mobility at the local (census commuting zone) level based on the correlation between parents’ and children’s earnings. We show that the level of local tax expenditures (as a percentage of AGI) is positively correlated with intergenerational mobility and that this correlation is robust to introducing controls for local area characteristics. To understand the mechanisms driving this correlation, we analyze the largest tax expenditures in greater detail. We find that the level and the progressivity of state income taxes are positively correlated with intergenerational mobility. Mortgage interest deductions are also positively related to intergenerational mobility. Finally, we find significant positive correlations between state EITC policy and intergenerational mobility. We conclude by discussing other applications of this  methodology to evaluate the net benefits of tax expenditures. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Abell, John D.; Abell, Melissa L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    The study uses a multivariate time series approach (Vector Autoregression) to compare the relative effects of government transfer spending versus macroeconomic change on poverty reduction. The analysis disaggregates transfer spending among federal budget subcategories and poverty rates among different demographic groups. The analysis also tested for the possibility that spending on government programs is adjusted in response to changes in poverty. The findings indicated that out of five separate transfer spending categories, only Income Security and Social Security spending had significant impacts, affecting White and elderly poverty only. Black, youth, and female head-of-house poverty rates were not significantly influenced by any spending category. Economic growth and lower unemployment rates were both observed to reduce poverty in all categories except the elderly, but the unemployment rate appeared to be the dominant effect. We found only a single instance in which transfer spending (Income Security) appeared to respond to changes in poverty (youth poverty). (author abstract...

    The study uses a multivariate time series approach (Vector Autoregression) to compare the relative effects of government transfer spending versus macroeconomic change on poverty reduction. The analysis disaggregates transfer spending among federal budget subcategories and poverty rates among different demographic groups. The analysis also tested for the possibility that spending on government programs is adjusted in response to changes in poverty. The findings indicated that out of five separate transfer spending categories, only Income Security and Social Security spending had significant impacts, affecting White and elderly poverty only. Black, youth, and female head-of-house poverty rates were not significantly influenced by any spending category. Economic growth and lower unemployment rates were both observed to reduce poverty in all categories except the elderly, but the unemployment rate appeared to be the dominant effect. We found only a single instance in which transfer spending (Income Security) appeared to respond to changes in poverty (youth poverty). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Card, David
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    Immigration is often viewed as a proximate cause of the rising wage gap between high- and low-skilled workers. Nevertheless, there is controversy over the appropriate framework for measuring the presumed effect, and over the magnitudes involved. This paper offers an overview and synthesis of existing knowledge on the relationship between immigration and inequality, focusing on evidence from cross-city comparisons in the U.S. Although some researchers have argued that a cross-city research design is inherently flawed, I show that evidence from cross-city comparisons is remarkably consistent with recent findings from aggregate time series data. Both designs provide support for three key conclusions: (1) workers with below high school education are perfect substitutes for those with a high school education; (2) "high school equivalent" and "college equivalent" workers are imperfect substitutes; (3) within education groups, immigrants and natives are imperfect substitutes. Together these results imply that the impacts of recent immigrant inflows on the relative wages of U.S. natives...

    Immigration is often viewed as a proximate cause of the rising wage gap between high- and low-skilled workers. Nevertheless, there is controversy over the appropriate framework for measuring the presumed effect, and over the magnitudes involved. This paper offers an overview and synthesis of existing knowledge on the relationship between immigration and inequality, focusing on evidence from cross-city comparisons in the U.S. Although some researchers have argued that a cross-city research design is inherently flawed, I show that evidence from cross-city comparisons is remarkably consistent with recent findings from aggregate time series data. Both designs provide support for three key conclusions: (1) workers with below high school education are perfect substitutes for those with a high school education; (2) "high school equivalent" and "college equivalent" workers are imperfect substitutes; (3) within education groups, immigrants and natives are imperfect substitutes. Together these results imply that the impacts of recent immigrant inflows on the relative wages of U.S. natives are small. The effects on overall wage inequality (including natives and immigrants) are larger, reflecting the concentration of immigrants in the tails of the skill distribution and higher residual inequality among immigrants than natives. Even so, immigration accounts for a small share (5%) of the increase in U.S. wage inequality between 1980 and 2000. (author abstract)

    This article is based on working paper previously published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

  • Individual Author: Lyons, Christopher J.; Pettit, Becky
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Spending time in prison has become an increasingly common life event for low-skill minority men in the U.S. The Bureau of Justice Statistics now estimates that one in three Black men can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. A growing body of work implicates the prison system in contemporary accounts of racial inequality across a host of social, health, economic, and political domains. However, comparatively little work has examined the impact of the massive increase in the prison system – and growing inequality in exposure to the prison system – on racial inequality over the life course. Using a unique data set drawn from state administrative records, this project examines how spending time in prison affects wage trajectories for a cohort of men over a 14-year period. Multilevel growth curve models show that black inmates earn considerably less than white inmates, even after considering human capital variables and prior work histories. Furthermore, racial divergence in wages among inmates increases following release from prison. Black felons receive fewer returns...

    Spending time in prison has become an increasingly common life event for low-skill minority men in the U.S. The Bureau of Justice Statistics now estimates that one in three Black men can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. A growing body of work implicates the prison system in contemporary accounts of racial inequality across a host of social, health, economic, and political domains. However, comparatively little work has examined the impact of the massive increase in the prison system – and growing inequality in exposure to the prison system – on racial inequality over the life course. Using a unique data set drawn from state administrative records, this project examines how spending time in prison affects wage trajectories for a cohort of men over a 14-year period. Multilevel growth curve models show that black inmates earn considerably less than white inmates, even after considering human capital variables and prior work histories. Furthermore, racial divergence in wages among inmates increases following release from prison. Black felons receive fewer returns to previous work experience than white felons contributing to a widening of the racial wage gap. This research broadens our understanding of the sources of racial stratification over the life course and underscores the relevance of recent policy interventions in the lives of low-skilled minority men. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a working paper that was previously published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

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