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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: Wimer, Christopher; Hartley, Robert Paul; Nam, Jaehyun
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on economic mobility for income, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of poverty or material hardship. This study provides the first estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity and poverty status from childhood into early adulthood. An advantage of studying the transmission of food insecurity is that it provides a direct measure of well-being compared to income-based poverty measures. In this study, we use panels of childhood and adult food security measures in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics over the survey years 1997 (using the Child Development Supplement) through early release data for 2017. Childhood food insecurity is associated with about 20 percentage points higher probability of food insecurity as an adult (or 10 percentage points conditional on income and wealth). The estimated transmission of food insecurity is robust to using different measures of food security as well as...

    The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on economic mobility for income, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of poverty or material hardship. This study provides the first estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity and poverty status from childhood into early adulthood. An advantage of studying the transmission of food insecurity is that it provides a direct measure of well-being compared to income-based poverty measures. In this study, we use panels of childhood and adult food security measures in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics over the survey years 1997 (using the Child Development Supplement) through early release data for 2017. Childhood food insecurity is associated with about 20 percentage points higher probability of food insecurity as an adult (or 10 percentage points conditional on income and wealth). The estimated transmission of food insecurity is robust to using different measures of food security as well as to applying instrumental variable methods for panel data that account for an individual’s fixed ability endowment. This study establishes an important benchmark for measuring persistence in long-term family well-being and labor market outcomes. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jones, Maggie R.; Ziliak, James P.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Evaluations of the EITC, including its antipoverty effectiveness, are based on simulated EITC benefits using either the Census Bureau’s tax module or from external tax simulators such as the National Bureau of Economic Research’s TAXSIM or Jon Bakija’s model. Each simulator utilizes model-based assumptions on who is and who is not eligible for the EITC, and conditional on eligibility, assumes that participation is 100 percent. However, recent evidence suggests that take-up of the EITC is considerably less than 100 percent, and thus claims regarding the impact of the program on measures of poverty may be overstated. We use data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) linked to IRS tax data on the EITC to compare the distribution of EITC benefits from three tax simulation modules to administrative tax records. We find that significantly more actual EITC payments flow to childless tax units than predicted by the tax simulators, and to those whose family income places then well above official poverty thresholds. However, actual EITC...

    Evaluations of the EITC, including its antipoverty effectiveness, are based on simulated EITC benefits using either the Census Bureau’s tax module or from external tax simulators such as the National Bureau of Economic Research’s TAXSIM or Jon Bakija’s model. Each simulator utilizes model-based assumptions on who is and who is not eligible for the EITC, and conditional on eligibility, assumes that participation is 100 percent. However, recent evidence suggests that take-up of the EITC is considerably less than 100 percent, and thus claims regarding the impact of the program on measures of poverty may be overstated. We use data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) linked to IRS tax data on the EITC to compare the distribution of EITC benefits from three tax simulation modules to administrative tax records. We find that significantly more actual EITC payments flow to childless tax units than predicted by the tax simulators, and to those whose family income places then well above official poverty thresholds. However, actual EITC payments appear to be target efficient at the individual tax unit level, whether correctly paid or not. We then compare the antipoverty impact of the EITC across the survey and administrative tax measures of EITC benefits. We find that in the full CPS ASEC the tax simulators overestimate the antipoverty effects of the EITC by about 1.8 million persons in a typical year. Restricting to a harmonized sample of filers, we find that the antipoverty estimates derived from the TAXSIM and Bakija models align more closely to actual EITC payments compared to the CPS, suggesting a discrepancy in assignment of tax filers between the tax simulators. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bitler, Marianne; Hoynes, Hilary; Domina, Thurston
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Preschool interventions are arguably one of the most important elements of support for poor families. Head Start, a federal program for children in low-income families administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, is a case in point. While research shows a range of benefits lasting beyond preschool for participants, evidence of the “fade-out” of cognitive gains of the preschool years and the differential impact of the program on children with different skill levels in the preschool population has prompted debate over its efficacy. Our recent work is the first comprehensive analysis of how modern Head Start impacts vary across the skill distribution in the preschool and early elementary period. We find evidence of a large and positive short-term effect of Head Start, and that cognitive gains are largest at the bottom of the achievement spectrum, particularly among Hispanic children. The results of our study and others showing a positive effect in other areas add to the evidence of the success of Head Start in improving the wellbeing of poor children. (Author...

    Preschool interventions are arguably one of the most important elements of support for poor families. Head Start, a federal program for children in low-income families administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, is a case in point. While research shows a range of benefits lasting beyond preschool for participants, evidence of the “fade-out” of cognitive gains of the preschool years and the differential impact of the program on children with different skill levels in the preschool population has prompted debate over its efficacy. Our recent work is the first comprehensive analysis of how modern Head Start impacts vary across the skill distribution in the preschool and early elementary period. We find evidence of a large and positive short-term effect of Head Start, and that cognitive gains are largest at the bottom of the achievement spectrum, particularly among Hispanic children. The results of our study and others showing a positive effect in other areas add to the evidence of the success of Head Start in improving the wellbeing of poor children. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Koball, Heather; Jiang, Yang
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent are low-income children and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold.

    Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children’s experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of children and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their more advantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

     

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent are low-income children and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold.

    Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children’s experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of children and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their more advantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Koball, Heather; Jiang, Yang
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent live in low-income families and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold. Young children—those under age 9 years—appear to be particularly vulnerable, with 44 percent living in low-income families, including 21 percent living in poor families. Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children’s experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of young children and their parents. It highlights important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor young children from their less disadvantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

     

    Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent live in low-income families and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold. Young children—those under age 9 years—appear to be particularly vulnerable, with 44 percent living in low-income families, including 21 percent living in poor families. Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children’s experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of young children and their parents. It highlights important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor young children from their less disadvantaged counterparts. (Author introduction)

     

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