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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: Berlin, Gordon
    Year: 2007

    I will make four points:

    - After declining by half between 1959 and 1972, the poverty rate in the United States has remained stuck between 11 and 15 percent ever since. Why? The prime explanations are rising rates of single parenthood and falling real wages, particularly among men with low levels of education. Of the two, the decline in wages is the more instrumental — that is, falling earnings is a problem we can redress and we have good evidence about what works.

    - A compelling body of evidence points to effective solutions — both short term and long term — for alleviating poverty related to low earnings today and the intergenerational transfer of poverty tomorrow. In the short term, enhancing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), especially for single individuals, and indexing the minimum wage to inflation could be an effective strategy for boosting employment and earnings and reducing poverty. In the long term, investments in educational reform — from pre-kindergarten classes to community colleges — should equip the next generation with the skills they need to...

    I will make four points:

    - After declining by half between 1959 and 1972, the poverty rate in the United States has remained stuck between 11 and 15 percent ever since. Why? The prime explanations are rising rates of single parenthood and falling real wages, particularly among men with low levels of education. Of the two, the decline in wages is the more instrumental — that is, falling earnings is a problem we can redress and we have good evidence about what works.

    - A compelling body of evidence points to effective solutions — both short term and long term — for alleviating poverty related to low earnings today and the intergenerational transfer of poverty tomorrow. In the short term, enhancing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), especially for single individuals, and indexing the minimum wage to inflation could be an effective strategy for boosting employment and earnings and reducing poverty. In the long term, investments in educational reform — from pre-kindergarten classes to community colleges — should equip the next generation with the skills they need to obtain high-paying jobs.

    - These short- and long-term two-generation strategies are interdependent: Providing enhanced work supports to adults to move families out of poverty today has positive effects on young children’s school performance — and provides a strong foundation for long-term efforts to prevent poverty tomorrow through improved educational opportunities for poor children.

    - An aggressive strategy to address falling wages would redesign and expand the EITC benefit for individuals, regardless of their parenting or marital status, conditioned on working 30 hours a week and determined on the basis of individual income rather than joint income. Retaining the current EITC for families with children while creating a new EITC for single individuals (including noncustodial parents and second earners in two-parent households) could have wide-ranging positive effects on employment, earnings, income, and poverty — as well as on family well-being. But because the costs of such an initiative would be high, a prudent first step would be a demonstration project with a rigorous research design in three or four cities to determine if the plan’s benefits outweigh its costs.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Haskins, Ron; Isaacs, Julia B.; Sawhill, Isabel V.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Americans have long believed that those who work hard can achieve success and that each generation will be better off than the last one. This belief has made Americans more tolerant of growing inequality than the citizens of other advanced nations. But how much opportunity to get ahead actually exists in America? In this new volume, Brookings scholars Julia Isaacs, Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins summarize research and provide new evidence on both the extent of intergenerational mobility in the United States and the factors that influence it. (Author introduction)

    Americans have long believed that those who work hard can achieve success and that each generation will be better off than the last one. This belief has made Americans more tolerant of growing inequality than the citizens of other advanced nations. But how much opportunity to get ahead actually exists in America? In this new volume, Brookings scholars Julia Isaacs, Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins summarize research and provide new evidence on both the extent of intergenerational mobility in the United States and the factors that influence it. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Mosle, Anne; Patel, Nisha
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    With catalytic support from a core circle of investors, Ascend at The Aspen Institute was launched with the mission to serve as a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to its work and brings a gender and racial equity lens to analysis. Two-generation  approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both vulnerable parents and children together. Two-generation approaches can be applied to programs, policies, systems, and research. This paper outlines the emerging case for and shares a framework for two-generation approaches. Key economic and demographic trends are driving the need for these approaches. (author abstract)

    With catalytic support from a core circle of investors, Ascend at The Aspen Institute was launched with the mission to serve as a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to its work and brings a gender and racial equity lens to analysis. Two-generation  approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both vulnerable parents and children together. Two-generation approaches can be applied to programs, policies, systems, and research. This paper outlines the emerging case for and shares a framework for two-generation approaches. Key economic and demographic trends are driving the need for these approaches. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schmit, Stephanie; Matthews, Hannah; Golden, Olivia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This brief outlines the two-generation approach to combating poverty. It includes background information on the current state of children and parents in poverty, justification for this approach, and clear policy steps to expand this approach through specifications that can be taken by lawmakers. (author introduction)

    This brief outlines the two-generation approach to combating poverty. It includes background information on the current state of children and parents in poverty, justification for this approach, and clear policy steps to expand this approach through specifications that can be taken by lawmakers. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Bassett, Meegan Dugan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Over the last few years, a new interest has emerged in two-generation (2 Gen) anti-poverty strategies. Federal and state policymakers, philanthropies, direct service nonprofits, and others have begun looking at better ways to provide low-income parents and children with resources to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and improve economic mobility.

    Definitions of 2 Gen strategies include those that generally support family income growth and those that focus on providing children with excellent early childhood education and parents with tools to support children’s educational success. However, many 2 Gen policies and programs now start with the premise that what low-income families most need is access to quality education, good jobs with benefits, and a full array of family services and supports…

    As 2 Gen efforts gain more attention nationally, states are being recognized for their potential to stimulate new policies to better serve low-income families and address the long-standing challenges of intergenerational poverty and economic mobility…

    This...

    Over the last few years, a new interest has emerged in two-generation (2 Gen) anti-poverty strategies. Federal and state policymakers, philanthropies, direct service nonprofits, and others have begun looking at better ways to provide low-income parents and children with resources to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and improve economic mobility.

    Definitions of 2 Gen strategies include those that generally support family income growth and those that focus on providing children with excellent early childhood education and parents with tools to support children’s educational success. However, many 2 Gen policies and programs now start with the premise that what low-income families most need is access to quality education, good jobs with benefits, and a full array of family services and supports…

    As 2 Gen efforts gain more attention nationally, states are being recognized for their potential to stimulate new policies to better serve low-income families and address the long-standing challenges of intergenerational poverty and economic mobility…

    This WPFP policy brief examines opportunities for states to play a prominent role in the evolving 2 Gen movement. The first section reviews the continuing need to address poverty in America, the history of 2 Gen strategies in America, the evidence suggesting the promise of 2 Gen efforts, and current efforts to bring renewed attention to 2 Gen work. It also elaborates on the WPFP’s approach to 2 Gen state policy work. The second section examines the role of states in pursuing 2 Gen strategies, with a particular focus on the state systems and policies that help adults to achieve economic success and maintain strong, stable families. The final section of this brief offers recommendations to support and stimulate state 2 Gen efforts. (author introduction)

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