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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 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: Friedlander, Daniel; Burtless, Gary
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1995

    With welfare reforms tested in almost every state and plans for a comprehensive federal overall on the horizon, it is increasingly important for Americans to understand how policy changes are likely to affect the lives of welfare recipients. Five Years After tells the story of what happened to the welfare recipients who participated in the influential welfare-to-work experiments conducted by several states in the mid-1980s. The authors review the distinctive goals and procedures of evaluations performed in Arkansas, Baltimore, San Diego, and Virginia, and then examine five years of follow-up data to determine whether the initial positive impact on employment, earnings, and welfare costs held up over time. The results were surprisingly consistent. Low-cost programs that saved money by getting individuals into jobs quickly did little to reduce poverty in the long run. Only higher-cost educational programs enabled welfare recipients to hold down jobs successfully and stay off welfare.

    Five Years After ends speculation about the viability of the first generation of employment...

    With welfare reforms tested in almost every state and plans for a comprehensive federal overall on the horizon, it is increasingly important for Americans to understand how policy changes are likely to affect the lives of welfare recipients. Five Years After tells the story of what happened to the welfare recipients who participated in the influential welfare-to-work experiments conducted by several states in the mid-1980s. The authors review the distinctive goals and procedures of evaluations performed in Arkansas, Baltimore, San Diego, and Virginia, and then examine five years of follow-up data to determine whether the initial positive impact on employment, earnings, and welfare costs held up over time. The results were surprisingly consistent. Low-cost programs that saved money by getting individuals into jobs quickly did little to reduce poverty in the long run. Only higher-cost educational programs enabled welfare recipients to hold down jobs successfully and stay off welfare.

    Five Years After ends speculation about the viability of the first generation of employment programs for welfare recipients, delineates the hard choices that must be made among competing approaches, and provides a well-documented foundation for building more comprehensive programs for the next generation. A sobering tale for welfare reformers of all political persuasions, this book poses a serious challenge to anyone who promises to end welfare dependency by cutting welfare budgets. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Howard
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This paper examines issues and options for the design of a major non-experimental study to measure the impacts of a large-scale, saturation-level demonstration program to promote employment among residents of selected public housing developments. The program, Jobs-Plus, is being launched by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and The Rockefeller Foundation. [An updated, full list of the Jobs-Plus funding partners is provided at the front of this paper.] Because Jobs-Plus will be a comprehensive community initiative, available to all residents of the several public housing developments where it is implemented, the program cannot be evaluated using a randomized experiment, the now-standard method for measuring the impacts of employment and training programs. However, because community-wide initiatives are becoming an increasingly important component of social policy, it is essential to develop methods for determining their success. It is the purpose of this paper, therefore, to explore...

    This paper examines issues and options for the design of a major non-experimental study to measure the impacts of a large-scale, saturation-level demonstration program to promote employment among residents of selected public housing developments. The program, Jobs-Plus, is being launched by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and The Rockefeller Foundation. [An updated, full list of the Jobs-Plus funding partners is provided at the front of this paper.] Because Jobs-Plus will be a comprehensive community initiative, available to all residents of the several public housing developments where it is implemented, the program cannot be evaluated using a randomized experiment, the now-standard method for measuring the impacts of employment and training programs. However, because community-wide initiatives are becoming an increasingly important component of social policy, it is essential to develop methods for determining their success. It is the purpose of this paper, therefore, to explore possibilities for doing so. (author abstract)

    Other resources on the Jobs-Plus project are available here.

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    In this paper I use data from a recent survey of employers to investigate the effects of employer skill needs on the wage levels and employment of newly hired workers, and especially on how these outcomes differ by race and gender. The skill needs are measured by various human capital credentials required of applicants at the hiring stage (educational attainment, specific experience, prior training) and by the daily task performance of those who are newly hired (reading/writing, arithmetic, use of computers).

    The results show that few new jobs are available to those workers who lack most of these credentials or who cannot perform most of these tasks. This is true even of jobs that do not require applicants to have college degrees.

    The hiring and task performance requirements of new jobs are associated with lower employment levels of blacks relative to whites within each gender, and some tasks are associated with higher employment levels of females relative to males. These requirements also have significant effects on starting hourly wages. Both effects are found...

    In this paper I use data from a recent survey of employers to investigate the effects of employer skill needs on the wage levels and employment of newly hired workers, and especially on how these outcomes differ by race and gender. The skill needs are measured by various human capital credentials required of applicants at the hiring stage (educational attainment, specific experience, prior training) and by the daily task performance of those who are newly hired (reading/writing, arithmetic, use of computers).

    The results show that few new jobs are available to those workers who lack most of these credentials or who cannot perform most of these tasks. This is true even of jobs that do not require applicants to have college degrees.

    The hiring and task performance requirements of new jobs are associated with lower employment levels of blacks relative to whites within each gender, and some tasks are associated with higher employment levels of females relative to males. These requirements also have significant effects on starting hourly wages. Both effects are found even after controlling for the educational attainments of hired workers.

    The effects of employer skill needs on employment patterns and wages help to account for some of the observed differences across groups in hourly wages, especially between black and white males, after controlling for education. Recent trends over time in relative wages and employment across these groups also seem to be quite consistent with these findings, along with evidence that these skill needs have been rising among employers.

    In addition, I find that various other employer characteristics such as their size, location, and the racial composition of their clientele also have significant effects on their tendencies to hire blacks. These findings suggest that employer preferences across racial groups play some role in determining employment outcomes of these groups, even after controlling for skill needs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Friedlander, Daniel; Martinson, Karin
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    Only small education effects were found for a large-scale program requiring participation in basic education by adult welfare recipients without a high school diploma or with low reading or math pretest scores. Positive results found in some of the research sites suggest that, with a focused program effort, GED certificates and improved achievement test scores may be obtained for individuals with pretest scores that are relatively high for this population. Raising achievement levels and increasing GED receipt appreciably among the many welfare recipients with lower pretest scores will require substantially improved program effectiveness. (author abstract)

    Only small education effects were found for a large-scale program requiring participation in basic education by adult welfare recipients without a high school diploma or with low reading or math pretest scores. Positive results found in some of the research sites suggest that, with a focused program effort, GED certificates and improved achievement test scores may be obtained for individuals with pretest scores that are relatively high for this population. Raising achievement levels and increasing GED receipt appreciably among the many welfare recipients with lower pretest scores will require substantially improved program effectiveness. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ong, Paul M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This paper examines the impact of subsidized housing on the number of hours worked by female recipients of public assistance.  An analysis of a California survey finds an income effect in lowering hours worked, but the magnitude is small.  The empirical results also reveal that those in Section 8 housing work considerably more than those renting in the private market or residing in public housing.  This finding holds after controlling for observable personal characteristics and accounting for the income effect.  Additional analysis comparing only those in the two housing programs shows a consistent and robust different with those in Section 8 working more.  There are two explanations for this result.  The first is that the finding is a statistical artifact cause by programmatic creaming of or self selection among applicants.  The second and more plausible explanation is that Section 8 housing offers recipients residential choice and mobility that improve opportunities for employment. (author abstract)

    This paper examines the impact of subsidized housing on the number of hours worked by female recipients of public assistance.  An analysis of a California survey finds an income effect in lowering hours worked, but the magnitude is small.  The empirical results also reveal that those in Section 8 housing work considerably more than those renting in the private market or residing in public housing.  This finding holds after controlling for observable personal characteristics and accounting for the income effect.  Additional analysis comparing only those in the two housing programs shows a consistent and robust different with those in Section 8 working more.  There are two explanations for this result.  The first is that the finding is a statistical artifact cause by programmatic creaming of or self selection among applicants.  The second and more plausible explanation is that Section 8 housing offers recipients residential choice and mobility that improve opportunities for employment. (author abstract)

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