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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: 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: Mason, Patrick L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This literature review gathers evidence on the relationship between African American male economic potential in the formal sector of the economy and transitions in African American family structure and marital stability. This review also provides insight into the crime, unemployment, family structure, and race debate. Competing theoretical explanations of transitions in family structure and marital stability are examined. Specifically, we compare the "African American structural model" with the "new household economics" and the sociological tradition that alleges that African American family life is pathological. (author abstract)

    This literature review gathers evidence on the relationship between African American male economic potential in the formal sector of the economy and transitions in African American family structure and marital stability. This review also provides insight into the crime, unemployment, family structure, and race debate. Competing theoretical explanations of transitions in family structure and marital stability are examined. Specifically, we compare the "African American structural model" with the "new household economics" and the sociological tradition that alleges that African American family life is pathological. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Moss, Philip; Tilly, Chris
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    We investigated changes in skill requirements and the effects of these changes on Black men's access to entry-level jobs, using open-ended interviews of managers at 56 firms in four industries. Managers reported that due to heightened competitive pressure, “soft skills”—particularly motivation and ability to interact well with customers and coworkers—are becoming increasingly important. Many managers view Black men as lacking in these soft skills. This helps to explain Black men's growing disadvantage in labor markets. (Author abstract)

    We investigated changes in skill requirements and the effects of these changes on Black men's access to entry-level jobs, using open-ended interviews of managers at 56 firms in four industries. Managers reported that due to heightened competitive pressure, “soft skills”—particularly motivation and ability to interact well with customers and coworkers—are becoming increasingly important. Many managers view Black men as lacking in these soft skills. This helps to explain Black men's growing disadvantage in labor markets. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wilson, William Julius
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    Wilson, one of our foremost authorities on race and poverty, challenges decades of liberal and conservative pieties to look squarely at the devastating effects that joblessness has had on our urban ghettos. Marshaling a vast array of data and the personal stories of hundreds of men and women, Wilson persuasively argues that problems endemic to America's inner cities--from fatherless households to drugs and violent crime--stem directly from the disappearance of blue-collar jobs in the wake of a globalized economy. Wilson's achievement is to portray this crisis as one that affects all Americans, and to propose solutions whose benefits would be felt across our society. At a time when welfare is ending and our country's racial dialectic is more strained than ever, When Work Disappears is a sane, courageous, and desperately important work. (publisher abstract)

    Wilson, one of our foremost authorities on race and poverty, challenges decades of liberal and conservative pieties to look squarely at the devastating effects that joblessness has had on our urban ghettos. Marshaling a vast array of data and the personal stories of hundreds of men and women, Wilson persuasively argues that problems endemic to America's inner cities--from fatherless households to drugs and violent crime--stem directly from the disappearance of blue-collar jobs in the wake of a globalized economy. Wilson's achievement is to portray this crisis as one that affects all Americans, and to propose solutions whose benefits would be felt across our society. At a time when welfare is ending and our country's racial dialectic is more strained than ever, When Work Disappears is a sane, courageous, and desperately important work. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hardy, Janet B. ; Shapiro, Sam ; Astone, Nan M. ; Miller, Therese L. ; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne ; Hilton, Sterling C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    Objectives. Data from recent interviews with 1758 inner-city children, born between 1960 to 1965 and followed with their mothers in the Pathways to Adulthood Study to age 27 to 33 years, were used to address two related questions. 1) Is maternal age, across the reproductive age range, a determinant of child's adult outcome? and 2) Do covariates of maternal age at delivery reduce or eliminate the effect of maternal age on child's adult outcome?

    Methods. An intergenerational life course model of development identified significant maternal and child characteristics at birth associated with the child's self-sufficient outcomes in adulthood: education (more than or equal to a high school diploma); financial independence of public support; and delay of first birth until age 20 or older. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression techniques were used to identify independent relationships between dependent and independent variables and to adjust the outcomes to compensate for the effect of possible confounding of maternal age at delivery by maternal education,...

    Objectives. Data from recent interviews with 1758 inner-city children, born between 1960 to 1965 and followed with their mothers in the Pathways to Adulthood Study to age 27 to 33 years, were used to address two related questions. 1) Is maternal age, across the reproductive age range, a determinant of child's adult outcome? and 2) Do covariates of maternal age at delivery reduce or eliminate the effect of maternal age on child's adult outcome?

    Methods. An intergenerational life course model of development identified significant maternal and child characteristics at birth associated with the child's self-sufficient outcomes in adulthood: education (more than or equal to a high school diploma); financial independence of public support; and delay of first birth until age 20 or older. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression techniques were used to identify independent relationships between dependent and independent variables and to adjust the outcomes to compensate for the effect of possible confounding of maternal age at delivery by maternal education, parity, poverty status, and the child's race and gender.

    Results.  Each covariate was independently associated with maternal age at delivery. Adjustment for their effects reduced, but did not eliminate, the association between maternal age at birth and the child's outcome at age 27 to 33 years. As a group, children of the oldest mothers (≥25 years of age) had the most favorable outcomes, and those of teenage mothers (<20 years of age) had the least favorable outcomes; 22% of daughters and 6% of sons of the oldest mothers versus 38% and 18%, respectively, of the youngest mothers became teenage parents.

    Conclusion.  The mother's age at delivery is an independent determinant of the child's adult status. (author abstract)

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