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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: Straatmann, Sheila; Sherraden, Margaret
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    In 1996 the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), along with an expanding economy, dramatically decreased the numbers of people receiving public assistance in the 1990s. Emphasizing quick placement in unsubsidized employment, most states responded to PRWORA with a “work first” strategy. Although specific services vary by state, policies are guided, according to one analyst, by a philosophy that “the best way to succeed in the labor market is to join it, developing work habits and skills on the job rather than in a classroom” (Brown, 1997, p. 3). Typically, recipients are placed in the job market with little or no training and those unable to find a job right away may receive some short-term training or education, immediately followed up by another job search (Brown, 1997). This case study examines micro enterprise, a strategy that assists people who have received welfare to open small businesses through the First Step Fund of Kansas City, which helps former and current TANF recipients establish micro businesses. First Step Fund is a nonprofit...

    In 1996 the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), along with an expanding economy, dramatically decreased the numbers of people receiving public assistance in the 1990s. Emphasizing quick placement in unsubsidized employment, most states responded to PRWORA with a “work first” strategy. Although specific services vary by state, policies are guided, according to one analyst, by a philosophy that “the best way to succeed in the labor market is to join it, developing work habits and skills on the job rather than in a classroom” (Brown, 1997, p. 3). Typically, recipients are placed in the job market with little or no training and those unable to find a job right away may receive some short-term training or education, immediately followed up by another job search (Brown, 1997). This case study examines micro enterprise, a strategy that assists people who have received welfare to open small businesses through the First Step Fund of Kansas City, which helps former and current TANF recipients establish micro businesses. First Step Fund is a nonprofit agency that has been providing business training and support to low- and moderate-income individuals in Missouri and Kansas since 1993. First Step Fund's mission is to foster economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship training, access to capital, and ongoing support. It was founded with the idea that self-employment, or entrepreneurship, is a viable alternative to public assistance or low-paying jobs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grogger, Jeffrey
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    The rapid decline in the welfare caseload remains a subject of keen interest to both policymakers and researchers. In this paper, I use data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation spanning the period from 1986 to 1999 to analyze how the economy, welfare reform, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other factors influenced welfare entries and exits, which in turn affect the caseload. I find that the decline in the welfare caseload resulted from both increases in exits and decreases in entries. Entries were most significantly affected by the economy, the decline in the real value of welfare benefits, and the expansion of the EITC. The EITC had substantial effects on initial entries onto welfare. Exits were most significantly affected by the economy and federal welfare reform. Federal reform had its greatest effects on longer-term spells of the type generally experienced by more disadvantaged recipients. Some out-of-sample predictions help explain the otherwise puzzling observation that, despite substantial increases in the unemployment rate since 2000, caseloads have...

    The rapid decline in the welfare caseload remains a subject of keen interest to both policymakers and researchers. In this paper, I use data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation spanning the period from 1986 to 1999 to analyze how the economy, welfare reform, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other factors influenced welfare entries and exits, which in turn affect the caseload. I find that the decline in the welfare caseload resulted from both increases in exits and decreases in entries. Entries were most significantly affected by the economy, the decline in the real value of welfare benefits, and the expansion of the EITC. The EITC had substantial effects on initial entries onto welfare. Exits were most significantly affected by the economy and federal welfare reform. Federal reform had its greatest effects on longer-term spells of the type generally experienced by more disadvantaged recipients. Some out-of-sample predictions help explain the otherwise puzzling observation that, despite substantial increases in the unemployment rate since 2000, caseloads have remained roughly constant. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: James, Ann Myatt; Thiebaud Nicoli, Lisa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This brief profiles former TCA clients who achieved economic stability, which we define as stable employment for five years with earnings that either grew over time, consistently exceeded the federal poverty threshold, or remained above the federal poverty threshold for the last two of the five years. Only about 15% of clients in the sample were economically stable. Those who realized economic stability were more likely to live in suburban counties, more educated, and more likely to have worked (and to have higher earnings) before receiving assistance. They were also more likely to work in health care, government, and education immediately after exit. (Author abstract)

    This brief profiles former TCA clients who achieved economic stability, which we define as stable employment for five years with earnings that either grew over time, consistently exceeded the federal poverty threshold, or remained above the federal poverty threshold for the last two of the five years. Only about 15% of clients in the sample were economically stable. Those who realized economic stability were more likely to live in suburban counties, more educated, and more likely to have worked (and to have higher earnings) before receiving assistance. They were also more likely to work in health care, government, and education immediately after exit. (Author abstract)