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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: Ozawa, Martha N.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    As the United States attempts to minimize public spending on social welfare programs and to shift the authority over many programs to the states, the federal government needs to establish a program of income security for children that is not tied to welfare. Such a program is in the national interest because the country will need a strong, competent workforce to deal with stiffer global economic competition and a greater financial obligation to support the elderly. This article discusses why income security for children cannot be provided by the current system of income transfers and advocates the establishment of a $1,000 refundable tax credit for all children and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. (author abstract)

    As the United States attempts to minimize public spending on social welfare programs and to shift the authority over many programs to the states, the federal government needs to establish a program of income security for children that is not tied to welfare. Such a program is in the national interest because the country will need a strong, competent workforce to deal with stiffer global economic competition and a greater financial obligation to support the elderly. This article discusses why income security for children cannot be provided by the current system of income transfers and advocates the establishment of a $1,000 refundable tax credit for all children and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sweeney, Eileen; Schott, Liz; Lazere, Ed; Fremstad, Shawn; Goldberg, Heidi; Guyer, Jocelyn; Super, David; Johnson, Clifford
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This report describes an array of innovative strategies and practical ideas for helping low-income families with children. There is a window of opportunity for these new strategies as many states have tremendous financial resources available. The Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) program rules have been clarified, and families are running up to the time limits which welfare reform imposed in 1996. The proposals are organized into three categories. The first, providing work supports for low-income families, includes suggestions for: (1) worker stipends; (2) state earned income tax credits; (3) transportation assistance; (4) accessible and affordable child care; (5) job retention and advancement services; (6) short-term aid; (7) expanded health care coverage; and (8) incentives to pay child support. A second section discusses addressing barriers parents face to enable them to work, and the third section considers the needs of specific populations, such as the disabled, legal immigrants, victims of violence, and low-income noncustodial parents. The primary focus is on...

    This report describes an array of innovative strategies and practical ideas for helping low-income families with children. There is a window of opportunity for these new strategies as many states have tremendous financial resources available. The Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) program rules have been clarified, and families are running up to the time limits which welfare reform imposed in 1996. The proposals are organized into three categories. The first, providing work supports for low-income families, includes suggestions for: (1) worker stipends; (2) state earned income tax credits; (3) transportation assistance; (4) accessible and affordable child care; (5) job retention and advancement services; (6) short-term aid; (7) expanded health care coverage; and (8) incentives to pay child support. A second section discusses addressing barriers parents face to enable them to work, and the third section considers the needs of specific populations, such as the disabled, legal immigrants, victims of violence, and low-income noncustodial parents. The primary focus is on promising initiatives that can be financed through the use of federal or state welfare funds. Two innovative strategies that can draw on federal or federally matched funds available through the Medicaid or food stamp programs are also included. Appendixes A and B discuss the rules governing use of TANF, and Appendix C discusses food stamp eligibility and benefits. Two other appendixes contain resources for additional information and a list of proposals cited in the report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blank, Rebecca ; Card, David
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2000

    Do plummeting welfare caseloads and rising employment prove that welfare reform policies have succeeded, or is this success due primarily to the job explosion created by today's robust economy? With roughly one to two million people expected to leave welfare in the coming decades, uncertainty about their long-term prospects troubles many social scientists. Finding Jobs offers a thorough examination of the low-skill labor market and its capacity to sustain this rising tide of workers, many of whom are single mothers with limited education. Each chapter examines specific trends in the labor market to ask such questions as: How secure are these low-skill jobs, particularly in the event of a recession? What can these workers expect in terms of wage growth and career advancement opportunities? How will a surge in the workforce affect opportunities for those already employed in low-skill jobs?

    Finding Jobs offers both good and bad news about work and welfare reform. Although the research presented in this book demonstrates that it is possible to find jobs for people who have...

    Do plummeting welfare caseloads and rising employment prove that welfare reform policies have succeeded, or is this success due primarily to the job explosion created by today's robust economy? With roughly one to two million people expected to leave welfare in the coming decades, uncertainty about their long-term prospects troubles many social scientists. Finding Jobs offers a thorough examination of the low-skill labor market and its capacity to sustain this rising tide of workers, many of whom are single mothers with limited education. Each chapter examines specific trends in the labor market to ask such questions as: How secure are these low-skill jobs, particularly in the event of a recession? What can these workers expect in terms of wage growth and career advancement opportunities? How will a surge in the workforce affect opportunities for those already employed in low-skill jobs?

    Finding Jobs offers both good and bad news about work and welfare reform. Although the research presented in this book demonstrates that it is possible to find jobs for people who have traditionally relied on public assistance, it also offers cautionary evidence that today's strong economy may mask enduring underlying problems. Finding Jobs shows that the low-wage labor market is particularly vulnerable to economic downswings and that lower skilled workers enjoy less job stability. Several chapters illustrate why financial incentives, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), are as essential to encouraging workforce participation as job search programs. Other chapters show the importance of including provisions for health insurance, and of increasing subsidies for child care to assist the large population of working single mothers affected by welfare reform.

    Finding Jobs also examines the potential costs of new welfare restrictions. It looks at how states can improve their flexibility in imposing time limits on families receiving welfare, and calls into question the cutbacks in eligibility for immigrants, who traditionally have relied less on public assistance than their native-born counterparts.

    Finding Jobs is an informative and wide-ranging inquiry into the issues raised by welfare reform. Based on comprehensive new data, this volume offers valuable guidance to policymakers looking to design policies that will increase work, raise incomes, and lower poverty in changing economic conditions. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    Introduction: The Labor Market and Welfare Reform - Rebecca Blank and David Card

    Part I - The Demand for Low-Wage Workers

    Chapter 1: The Employment, Earnings, and Income of Less Skilled Workers Over the Business Cycle - Hilary Hoynes

    Chapter 2: Displacement and Wage Effects of Welfare Reform - Timothy Bartik 

    Part II - Wages and Job Characteristics in the Less Skilled Labor Market

    Chapter 3: Job Change and Job Stability Among Less Skilled Young Workers - Harry Holzer and Robert LaLonde

    Chapter 4: Wage Progression Among Less Skilled Workers - Tricia Gladden and Christopher Taber

    Chapter 5: Gender Differences in the Low-Wage Labor Market - Jane Waldfogel and Susan Mayer

    Chapter 6: Health Insurance and Less Skilled Workers - Janet Currie and Aaron Yelowitz

    Chapter 7: Employee-Based Versus Employer-Based Subsidies to Low-Wage Workers: A Public Finance Perspective - Stacy Dickert-Conlin and Douglas Holtz-Eakin

    Part III - Public Politics to Increase Employment and Earnings of Less Skilled Workers

    Chapter 8: Public Service Employment and Mandatory Work: A Policy Whose Time Has Come and Gone and Gone Again? - David Ellwood and Elisabeth Welty

    Chapter 9: Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income among Low-Income Families - Rebecca Blank, David Card, and Phillip Robins

    Chapter 10: Child Care and Mothers' Employment Decisions - Patricia Anderson and Phillip Levine

    Part IV - The Impact of Welfare Reform

    Chapter 11: Use of Means-Tested Transfer Programs by Immigrants, Their Children, and Their Children's Children - Kristin Butcher and Luojia Hu

    Chapter 12: Time Limits - Robert Moffitt and LaDonna Pavetti 

  • Individual Author: Bartik, Timothy J.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2001

    Even as the United States enjoys a booming economy and historically low levels of unemployment, millions of Americans remain out of work or underemployed, and joblessness continues to plague many urban communities, racial minorities, and people with little education. In Jobs for the Poor, Timothy Bartik calls for a dramatic shift in the way the United States confronts this problem. Today, most efforts to address this problem focus on ways to make workers more employable, such as job training and welfare reform. But Bartik argues that the United States should put more emphasis on ways to increase the interest of employers in creating jobs for the poor—or the labor demand side of the labor market.

    Bartik's bases his case for labor demand policies on a comprehensive review of the low-wage labor market. He examines the effectiveness of government interventions in the labor market, such as Welfare Reform, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Welfare-to-Work programs, and asks if having a job makes a person more employable. Bartik finds that public service employment and...

    Even as the United States enjoys a booming economy and historically low levels of unemployment, millions of Americans remain out of work or underemployed, and joblessness continues to plague many urban communities, racial minorities, and people with little education. In Jobs for the Poor, Timothy Bartik calls for a dramatic shift in the way the United States confronts this problem. Today, most efforts to address this problem focus on ways to make workers more employable, such as job training and welfare reform. But Bartik argues that the United States should put more emphasis on ways to increase the interest of employers in creating jobs for the poor—or the labor demand side of the labor market.

    Bartik's bases his case for labor demand policies on a comprehensive review of the low-wage labor market. He examines the effectiveness of government interventions in the labor market, such as Welfare Reform, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Welfare-to-Work programs, and asks if having a job makes a person more employable. Bartik finds that public service employment and targeted employer wage subsidies can increase employment among the poor. In turn, job experience significantly increases the poor's long-run earnings by enhancing their skills and reputation with employers. And labor demand policies can avoid causing inflation or displacing other workers by targeting high-unemployment labor markets and persons who would otherwise be unemployed.

    Bartik concludes by proposing a large-scale labor demand program. One component of the program would give a tax credit to employers in areas of high unemployment. To provide disadvantaged workers with more targeted help, Bartik also recommends offering short-term subsidies to employers—particularly small businesses and nonprofit organizations—that hire people who otherwise would be unlikely to find jobs. With experience from subsidized jobs, the new workers should find it easier to obtain future year-round employment.

    Although these efforts would not catapult poor families into the middle class overnight, Bartik offers a powerful argument that having a full-time worker in every household would help improve the lives of millions. Jobs for the Poor makes a compelling case that full employment can be achieved if the country has the political will and adopts policies that address both sides of the labor market. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wallace, John W.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    In the years following welfare reform, unprecedented numbers of low-income parents moved into the workforce, though many into low-wage jobs that do not pay enough to lift their families out of poverty. Federal and state governments and public agencies have responded to the needs of low-income working families by developing job retention and advancement services, and by expanding “work support” programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and subsidized health care. Both approaches show promise for raising family income, and in turn, recent research shows that such programs can have a range of positive impacts on families and children.

    However, studies have also shown that take-up rates for both job retention and advancement programs and work supports are low, and even fewer families eligible for multiple programs receive the “full package” of services and supports. As one way to increase participation in these programs, MDRC is exploring the feasibility of developing Work Support Centers — agencies whose mission is to increase low-wage workers’ access to the...

    In the years following welfare reform, unprecedented numbers of low-income parents moved into the workforce, though many into low-wage jobs that do not pay enough to lift their families out of poverty. Federal and state governments and public agencies have responded to the needs of low-income working families by developing job retention and advancement services, and by expanding “work support” programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and subsidized health care. Both approaches show promise for raising family income, and in turn, recent research shows that such programs can have a range of positive impacts on families and children.

    However, studies have also shown that take-up rates for both job retention and advancement programs and work supports are low, and even fewer families eligible for multiple programs receive the “full package” of services and supports. As one way to increase participation in these programs, MDRC is exploring the feasibility of developing Work Support Centers — agencies whose mission is to increase low-wage workers’ access to the full range of employment, retention, and advancement services, as well as work supports. MDRC is investigating a number of potential institutional “homes” for Work Support Centers, including One-Stops, Family Resource Centers, and private employers. This framework paper outlines, in brief, MDRC’s vision, rationale, and workplan. (author abstract)

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