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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: Haveman, Robert; Blank, Rebecca; Moffitt, Robert; Smeeding, Timothy; Wallace, Geoffrey
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    We present a 50-year historical perspective of the nation's antipoverty efforts, describing the evolution of policy during four key periods since 1965. Over this half-century, the initial heavy reliance on cash income support to poor families has eroded; increases in public support came largely in the form of in-kind (e.g., Food Stamps) and tax-related (e.g., the Earned Income Tax Credit) benefits. Work support and the supplementation of earnings substituted for direct support. These shifts eroded the safety net for the most disadvantaged in American society. Three poverty-related analytical developments are also described. The rise of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)—taking account of noncash and tax-related benefits—has corrected some of the serious weaknesses of the official poverty measure (OPM). The SPM measure indicates that the poverty rate has declined over time, rather than being essentially flat as the OPM implies. We also present snapshots of the composition of the poor population in the United States using both the OPM and the SPM, showing progress in reducing...

    We present a 50-year historical perspective of the nation's antipoverty efforts, describing the evolution of policy during four key periods since 1965. Over this half-century, the initial heavy reliance on cash income support to poor families has eroded; increases in public support came largely in the form of in-kind (e.g., Food Stamps) and tax-related (e.g., the Earned Income Tax Credit) benefits. Work support and the supplementation of earnings substituted for direct support. These shifts eroded the safety net for the most disadvantaged in American society. Three poverty-related analytical developments are also described. The rise of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)—taking account of noncash and tax-related benefits—has corrected some of the serious weaknesses of the official poverty measure (OPM). The SPM measure indicates that the poverty rate has declined over time, rather than being essentially flat as the OPM implies. We also present snapshots of the composition of the poor population in the United States using both the OPM and the SPM, showing progress in reducing poverty overall and among specific socioeconomic subgroups since the beginning of the War on Poverty. Finally, we document the expenditure levels of numerous antipoverty programs that have accompanied the several phases of poverty policy and describe the effect of these efforts on the level of poverty. Although the effectiveness of government antipoverty transfers is debated, our findings indicate that the growth of antipoverty policies has reduced the overall level of poverty, with substantial reductions among the elderly, disabled, and blacks. However, the poverty rates for children, especially those living in single-parent families, and families headed by a low-skill, low-education person, have increased. Rates of deep poverty (families living with less than one-half of the poverty line) for the nonelderly population have not decreased, reflecting both the increasing labor market difficulties faced by the low-skill population and the tilt of means-tested benefits away from the poorest of the poor. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Isen, Adam; Stevenson, Betsey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as “financial security”, are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college degree. In contrast, there have been fewer changes in marital patterns by education for men. (author abstract)

    This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as “financial security”, are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college degree. In contrast, there have been fewer changes in marital patterns by education for men. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Howard, Jeanne; Berzin, Stephanie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    This report explores initiatives, synthesizes research findings, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of the growing proportion of youth who "age out" of foster care each year – and face daunting challenges in their transition to adulthood. (Author introduction)

    This report explores initiatives, synthesizes research findings, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of the growing proportion of youth who "age out" of foster care each year – and face daunting challenges in their transition to adulthood. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Daly, Mary
    Reference Type: Report, White Papers
    Year: 2015

    This paper examines policies for the support of families with children, in particular child-related financial transfers and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. The analysis is mainly focused on countries with institutionalized welfare states – primarily Western European and other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – because that is where child-related benefits and services have the longest history. It focuses on the unfolding of the relevant transfers and services from the period of their inception in the early decades of the 20th century to the reforms that are currently underway. The paper highlights a number of core insights relevant to policy planning and decision-making for child-related transfers and ECEC services: Child-related financial transfers and ECEC services should not be seen as alternatives to each other, both are needed to provide continuous support across the life cycle. Children's needs and well-being should be at the forefront when these policies are designed and put in place. While this may appear self-...

    This paper examines policies for the support of families with children, in particular child-related financial transfers and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. The analysis is mainly focused on countries with institutionalized welfare states – primarily Western European and other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – because that is where child-related benefits and services have the longest history. It focuses on the unfolding of the relevant transfers and services from the period of their inception in the early decades of the 20th century to the reforms that are currently underway. The paper highlights a number of core insights relevant to policy planning and decision-making for child-related transfers and ECEC services: Child-related financial transfers and ECEC services should not be seen as alternatives to each other, both are needed to provide continuous support across the life cycle. Children's needs and well-being should be at the forefront when these policies are designed and put in place. While this may appear self-evident, policies that are intended to meet several objectives can result in a situation where the needs of children are not at the heart of the measures that are assumed to benefit them. The paper also underlines the need for gender equality to be a frontline consideration in this (as in other) policy domains. This paper was produced for UN Women's flagship report Progress of the World's Women 2015-2016, and is released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Henly, Julia R.; Adams, Gina
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    In recent decades, policymakers have increasingly focused on the importance of high-quality child care and early education services in supporting the development of low-income children. Though highquality early care and education (ECE) can exist in any setting—including child care centers, family child care programs, and other home-based care arrangements—the emphasis on high-quality ECE services has often translated into a singular focus on investing public funds in formal settings, especially centerbased programs.

    This report explores the implications of this trend in the context of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), also known as the Child Care and Development Fund. It focuses on four priority populations: families with parents working nontraditional schedules, families with infants and toddlers, families living in rural areas, and families with children with disabilities and special needs. It concludes with a discussion of state policy strategies to better address the child care needs of these families.

    Our goal in...

    In recent decades, policymakers have increasingly focused on the importance of high-quality child care and early education services in supporting the development of low-income children. Though highquality early care and education (ECE) can exist in any setting—including child care centers, family child care programs, and other home-based care arrangements—the emphasis on high-quality ECE services has often translated into a singular focus on investing public funds in formal settings, especially centerbased programs.

    This report explores the implications of this trend in the context of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), also known as the Child Care and Development Fund. It focuses on four priority populations: families with parents working nontraditional schedules, families with infants and toddlers, families living in rural areas, and families with children with disabilities and special needs. It concludes with a discussion of state policy strategies to better address the child care needs of these families.

    Our goal in this report is twofold: First, to help policymakers and other policy stakeholders understand how current policy strategies and trends toward center-based care may be inadvertently challenging the ability of vulnerable groups of families to access subsidies and take advantage of public investments in child care quality. And second, to contribute to informed and strategic policy efforts to increase access to and the supply of high-quality care for all children across the spectrum of child care settings. (Edited author executive summary)

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