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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: Committee for Economic Development Research and Policy Committee
    Reference Type: Report, White Papers
    Year: 2000

    The signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 fundamentally changed the welfare system in America. The emphasis shifted from supporting low-income people who do not work to helping low-income people work to support themselves. This report examines the record of welfare reform in the wider context of the low-skill labor market. It asks how former welfare recipients have fared in finding employment, reducing dependency, and raising incomes. Recommendations are made for completing and improving the program for moving individuals from welfare to work. (author abstract)

    The signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 fundamentally changed the welfare system in America. The emphasis shifted from supporting low-income people who do not work to helping low-income people work to support themselves. This report examines the record of welfare reform in the wider context of the low-skill labor market. It asks how former welfare recipients have fared in finding employment, reducing dependency, and raising incomes. Recommendations are made for completing and improving the program for moving individuals from welfare to work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Garfinkel, Irwin; Heintze, Theresa; Huang, Chien-Chung
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2001

    Public enforcement of private child support obligations transfers income from nonresident parents to resident parents (mostly mothers) or, if the mother is receiving welfare, to the state. This paper reviews and synthesizes existing literature on the effects of this transfer of income and presents new empirical evidence on the effects of stronger enforcement on the incomes of mothers and their children. Findings show that more stringent child support enforcement increases the labor supply of mothers who would otherwise have been on welfare, increases slightly or has no effect on the labor supply of nonresident fathers, decreases divorce and non-marital births, and decreases remarriages of both mothers and fathers. Empirical estimates indicate that stronger child support enforcement increases the income of single mothers and their dependent children by two dollars for each dollar of child support received by single mothers. This implies that the dominant effect of additional child support is to encourage welfare participant single mothers to leave welfare and enter the labor...

    Public enforcement of private child support obligations transfers income from nonresident parents to resident parents (mostly mothers) or, if the mother is receiving welfare, to the state. This paper reviews and synthesizes existing literature on the effects of this transfer of income and presents new empirical evidence on the effects of stronger enforcement on the incomes of mothers and their children. Findings show that more stringent child support enforcement increases the labor supply of mothers who would otherwise have been on welfare, increases slightly or has no effect on the labor supply of nonresident fathers, decreases divorce and non-marital births, and decreases remarriages of both mothers and fathers. Empirical estimates indicate that stronger child support enforcement increases the income of single mothers and their dependent children by two dollars for each dollar of child support received by single mothers. This implies that the dominant effect of additional child support is to encourage welfare participant single mothers to leave welfare and enter the labor market. This suggests that child support enforcement, in terms of breadth of legislation and administrative expenditures, has an impact on the income of eligible women. (Contains 53 references.) (Eric.gov-SM) (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rich, Lauren M.; Kim, Sun-Bin
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2001

    In this paper we employ data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study in order to estimate a model of underground labor supply developed by Lemieux et al. (1994). We focus specifically on the underground labor supply of unmarried fathers, a group that is likely to have significant involvement in the underground economy. We also extend the empirical analysis of Lemieux et al. by taking into account exogenous state and local variation in marginal tax rates, as well as sociodemographic variables related to the likelihood of participation in the underground. In accordance with expectations, we find that a significant proportion of unmarried fathers report participation in the underground. However, although the theoretical model predicts a positive relationship between the tax rate and underground hours of work (under certain conditions), we find that the effect of the tax rate on hours is statistically indistinguishable from zero, even after including exogenous variation in tax rates. We also fail to find a positive and statistically significant effect of the tax rate on...

    In this paper we employ data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study in order to estimate a model of underground labor supply developed by Lemieux et al. (1994). We focus specifically on the underground labor supply of unmarried fathers, a group that is likely to have significant involvement in the underground economy. We also extend the empirical analysis of Lemieux et al. by taking into account exogenous state and local variation in marginal tax rates, as well as sociodemographic variables related to the likelihood of participation in the underground. In accordance with expectations, we find that a significant proportion of unmarried fathers report participation in the underground. However, although the theoretical model predicts a positive relationship between the tax rate and underground hours of work (under certain conditions), we find that the effect of the tax rate on hours is statistically indistinguishable from zero, even after including exogenous variation in tax rates. We also fail to find a positive and statistically significant effect of the tax rate on participation in the underground. Within the context of the model, these results have specific implications for the magnitudes of the probability of detection and the penalty on evaded tax. Therefore, we conclude that additional empirical information is needed regarding these parameters. Future research might also employ other datasets in the estimation of the theoretical model outlined by Lemieux et al., as well as investigate the applicability of other models of underground labor supply. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nieves-Rosa, Limarie; Thomas-Breitfeld, Sean
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2002

    On June 26, 2002, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant by a margin of 13 to eight. The Committee’s “Work, Opportunity, and Responsibility for Kids Act of 2002” (WORK) was modeled on the proposals of Senators Hatch (R-UT), Snowe (R-ME), Jeffords (I-VT), Breaux (D-LA),Lincoln (D-AR), and Rockefeller (D-WV).This bill is similar in several aspects to the measure passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 16, 2002, the “Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2002” (H.R. 4737). Both bills continue the five-year lifetime limit on receipt of benefits, require more work from recipients, and focus on universal engagement, which requires that all TANF recipients have an Individual Responsibility Plan that outlines the activities and supports that will move the parent into the workforce. However, the WORK Act is far better than the bill passed by the House because it gives states the flexibility to serve legal immigrants, expands access to education and training, and increases...

    On June 26, 2002, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant by a margin of 13 to eight. The Committee’s “Work, Opportunity, and Responsibility for Kids Act of 2002” (WORK) was modeled on the proposals of Senators Hatch (R-UT), Snowe (R-ME), Jeffords (I-VT), Breaux (D-LA),Lincoln (D-AR), and Rockefeller (D-WV).This bill is similar in several aspects to the measure passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 16, 2002, the “Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2002” (H.R. 4737). Both bills continue the five-year lifetime limit on receipt of benefits, require more work from recipients, and focus on universal engagement, which requires that all TANF recipients have an Individual Responsibility Plan that outlines the activities and supports that will move the parent into the workforce. However, the WORK Act is far better than the bill passed by the House because it gives states the flexibility to serve legal immigrants, expands access to education and training, and increases funding for child care. In addition, the WORK Act includes two provisions that directly relate to Puerto Rico, whereas the House bill did not address the disparities in funds assigned to Puerto Rico’s TANF program. The Finance Committee’s bill is expected to go to the floor of the Senate in the coming weeks. This White Paper highlights recent developments in the TANF reauthorization process in Congress and analyzes their implications for Puerto Rico. It provides information on the experience of Puerto Rico with the implementation of welfare reform during the past five years and provides important recommendations for the Senate to consider as it makes its final decision about TANF reauthorization. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schneider, Jo Anne
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2006

    This paper provides a succinct overview of the concept of social capital and describes ways in which social capital can play a role in economic and community development. Examples illustrating these concepts are drawn from more than 20 years of research in urban communities, as well as from case studies produced by others involved with community development. The paper addresses the following questions:
    1) What is social capital, and how do the various kinds of social capital play out in the ways that community needs are met?
    2) What kinds of social capital building strategies are useful in economic and community development?

    (Author abstract)

    This paper provides a succinct overview of the concept of social capital and describes ways in which social capital can play a role in economic and community development. Examples illustrating these concepts are drawn from more than 20 years of research in urban communities, as well as from case studies produced by others involved with community development. The paper addresses the following questions:
    1) What is social capital, and how do the various kinds of social capital play out in the ways that community needs are met?
    2) What kinds of social capital building strategies are useful in economic and community development?

    (Author abstract)

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