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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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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Nuñez, Stephen Charles
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2011

    In this dissertation, I explore the role of values and moral judgments in credit markets. I focus on the frequenting of “fringe banks,” controversial institutions that serve those who have limited access to mainstream credit markets as a result of poverty and/or poor/no credit history. Among other intriguing results, I find compelling evidence that there are persistent statistical differences in payday and pawn loan usage across racial and ethnic groups that cannot be explained by disparities in wealth and credit access. Instead, I argue that they are the result of variations in the perception of the propriety of such loans, variations that have their root in the legacy of racial discrimination in mainstream credit markets in the United States. To make this case, I utilize both quantitative and qualitative data as well as a variety of novel statistical techniques. I analyze cross-site multi-wave survey data collected by The Center for Community Capital, The National Opinion Research Center and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. I strengthen my argument by drawing on excellent focus...

    In this dissertation, I explore the role of values and moral judgments in credit markets. I focus on the frequenting of “fringe banks,” controversial institutions that serve those who have limited access to mainstream credit markets as a result of poverty and/or poor/no credit history. Among other intriguing results, I find compelling evidence that there are persistent statistical differences in payday and pawn loan usage across racial and ethnic groups that cannot be explained by disparities in wealth and credit access. Instead, I argue that they are the result of variations in the perception of the propriety of such loans, variations that have their root in the legacy of racial discrimination in mainstream credit markets in the United States. To make this case, I utilize both quantitative and qualitative data as well as a variety of novel statistical techniques. I analyze cross-site multi-wave survey data collected by The Center for Community Capital, The National Opinion Research Center and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. I strengthen my argument by drawing on excellent focus group data supplied by The Center for Community Capital and The Center for Responsible Lending. This study represents a unique contribution to the sociology of credit and finance and demonstrates the importance of synthesizing structural and cultural approaches to the study of economic activity. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dahlem, Katherine Anne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The University of Wisconsin’s Center for Financial Security and Abt Associates Inc. conducted four focus groups with adults with disabilities who are working or interested in working, and four focus groups with parents or guardians of children with disabilities who are aging out of the school system. The purpose of these eight focus groups was to gather information on how people with disabilities and their families address financial and estate planning, understand eligibility rules and regulations, seek and maintain employment, interact with local school systems, and share lessons learned. Study findings suggest that the dissemination of information about financial and estate planning, benefit rules and regulations, employment opportunities, and effective special education models is vital to people with disabilities and their caregivers in order to help them address long-term financial and care needs. (author abstract)

    The University of Wisconsin’s Center for Financial Security and Abt Associates Inc. conducted four focus groups with adults with disabilities who are working or interested in working, and four focus groups with parents or guardians of children with disabilities who are aging out of the school system. The purpose of these eight focus groups was to gather information on how people with disabilities and their families address financial and estate planning, understand eligibility rules and regulations, seek and maintain employment, interact with local school systems, and share lessons learned. Study findings suggest that the dissemination of information about financial and estate planning, benefit rules and regulations, employment opportunities, and effective special education models is vital to people with disabilities and their caregivers in order to help them address long-term financial and care needs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mills, Gregory; Lam, Ken; DeMarco, Donna; Rodger, Christopher; Kaul, Bulbul
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This study represents the impact study component of the AFI evaluation. It examines the effects of AFI participation on the three forms of asset building targeted by the AFI Program: homeownership, business ownership, and postsecondary education. The analysis also assesses the program’s impact on key components of net worth (financial assets, home equity, and consumer debt) and on employment status and income (whether employed, amount of monthly earnings, and receipt of means-tested benefits from cash assistance, food stamps, or Medicaid). The process study component of the evaluation explores how various AFI projects are planned, implemented, and operated.1 (author abstract) 

    This study represents the impact study component of the AFI evaluation. It examines the effects of AFI participation on the three forms of asset building targeted by the AFI Program: homeownership, business ownership, and postsecondary education. The analysis also assesses the program’s impact on key components of net worth (financial assets, home equity, and consumer debt) and on employment status and income (whether employed, amount of monthly earnings, and receipt of means-tested benefits from cash assistance, food stamps, or Medicaid). The process study component of the evaluation explores how various AFI projects are planned, implemented, and operated.1 (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Mills, Gregory; Ciurea, Michelle; DeMarco, Donna
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This report provides key findings from case studies developed on 14 Assets for Independence (AFI)-funded individual development account (IDA) projects. IDAs are personal savings accounts targeted to low-income persons that encourage participants to save for specific types of assets by providing matching funds when the accountholder makes withdrawals for an allowable asset purchase. The rationale for IDAs lies in the proposition that income transfers have eased the hardship of the poor but have been less effective in enabling low-income families to become economically self-sufficient. An alternative view that emerged in the early 1990s was that to promote economic advancement and self-sufficiency—as well as to encourage socially positive behaviors—policies should focus on asset accumulation, in combination with income support. The AFI Act calls for an evaluation of AFI projects to be carried out by an independent research organization under contract to HHS. The evaluation is to analyze the effects of incentives and services on participant savings; the extent to which participant...

    This report provides key findings from case studies developed on 14 Assets for Independence (AFI)-funded individual development account (IDA) projects. IDAs are personal savings accounts targeted to low-income persons that encourage participants to save for specific types of assets by providing matching funds when the accountholder makes withdrawals for an allowable asset purchase. The rationale for IDAs lies in the proposition that income transfers have eased the hardship of the poor but have been less effective in enabling low-income families to become economically self-sufficient. An alternative view that emerged in the early 1990s was that to promote economic advancement and self-sufficiency—as well as to encourage socially positive behaviors—policies should focus on asset accumulation, in combination with income support. The AFI Act calls for an evaluation of AFI projects to be carried out by an independent research organization under contract to HHS. The evaluation is to analyze the effects of incentives and services on participant savings; the extent to which participant savings vary by demographic; the economic, civic, psychological and social effects of savings; the effects of project participation on savings rates, homeownership, postsecondary educational attainment, and self-employment; the potential financial returns from IDAs to the Federal government and other public and private sector investors over a 5-year and 10-year period of time; and the lessons learned from the demonstration project and whether an IDA program should become permanent. The Act specifies further that the evaluation is to utilize a control group to compare AFI project participants with nonparticipants, and to utilize both quantitative and qualitative data. A final evaluation is to be completed within one year following the conclusion of all AFI projects funded under the Act. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Woolley, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    This report analyzes survey data about the use of financial services by families living in the 10 Making Connections cities across the United States. The report evaluates resident responses by their use of bank services, check cashing services, payday lenders, pawn shops and credit cards, as well as how they would respond to financial emergencies. It correlates how factors such as race/ethnicity, immigrant status, income, employment level, and neighborhood of residence influenced the use of financial services. (Author abstract)

    This report analyzes survey data about the use of financial services by families living in the 10 Making Connections cities across the United States. The report evaluates resident responses by their use of bank services, check cashing services, payday lenders, pawn shops and credit cards, as well as how they would respond to financial emergencies. It correlates how factors such as race/ethnicity, immigrant status, income, employment level, and neighborhood of residence influenced the use of financial services. (Author abstract)

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