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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 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: Bagchi, Shantanu
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    I examine if the positive correlation between wealth and survivorship has any implications for the progressivity of Social Security’s current benefit-earnings rule. Using a general-equilibrium macroeconomic model calibrated to the U.S. economy, I show that the optimal benefit-earnings link for Social Security is largely insensitive to wealth-dependent mortality risk. This is because while a more progressive benefit-earnings rule provides increased insurance for households with relatively unfavorable earnings histories, and therefore lower savings and survivorship, their relatively high mortality risk heavily discounts the utility from old-age consumption. I find that these two effects roughly offset each other, yielding nearly identical optimal benefit-earnings rules both with and without differential mortality. (Author abstract)

    I examine if the positive correlation between wealth and survivorship has any implications for the progressivity of Social Security’s current benefit-earnings rule. Using a general-equilibrium macroeconomic model calibrated to the U.S. economy, I show that the optimal benefit-earnings link for Social Security is largely insensitive to wealth-dependent mortality risk. This is because while a more progressive benefit-earnings rule provides increased insurance for households with relatively unfavorable earnings histories, and therefore lower savings and survivorship, their relatively high mortality risk heavily discounts the utility from old-age consumption. I find that these two effects roughly offset each other, yielding nearly identical optimal benefit-earnings rules both with and without differential mortality. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dillender, Marcus; Heinrich, Carolyn; Houseman, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with at least 50 full-time-equivalent employees to offer “affordable” health insurance to employees working 30 or more hours per week. If employers do not comply with the mandate, they may face substantial financial penalties. Employers can potentially circumvent the mandate by reducing weekly hours below the 30-hour threshold or by using other nonstandard employment arrangements (direct-hire temporaries, agency temporaries, small contractors, and independent contractors). We examine the effects of the ACA on short-hours, part-time employment. Using monthly CPS data, we estimate that the ACA resulted in an increase in low-hours, involuntary part-time employment of a half-million to a million workers in retail, accommodations, and food services, the sectors in which employers are most likely to reduce hours if they choose to circumvent the mandate, and also the sectors in which low-wage workers are most likely to be affected. Our empirical strategy uses as a control group Hawaii, which has had a more stringent employer health...

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with at least 50 full-time-equivalent employees to offer “affordable” health insurance to employees working 30 or more hours per week. If employers do not comply with the mandate, they may face substantial financial penalties. Employers can potentially circumvent the mandate by reducing weekly hours below the 30-hour threshold or by using other nonstandard employment arrangements (direct-hire temporaries, agency temporaries, small contractors, and independent contractors). We examine the effects of the ACA on short-hours, part-time employment. Using monthly CPS data, we estimate that the ACA resulted in an increase in low-hours, involuntary part-time employment of a half-million to a million workers in retail, accommodations, and food services, the sectors in which employers are most likely to reduce hours if they choose to circumvent the mandate, and also the sectors in which low-wage workers are most likely to be affected. Our empirical strategy uses as a control group Hawaii, which has had a more stringent employer health insurance mandate than that of the ACA for several decades. The findings are robust to placebo tests and alternative specifications. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Looney, Adam; Manoli, Dayanand S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Policy changes in the United States in the 1990s resulted in sizable increases in employment rates of single mothers. We show that this increase led to a large and abrupt increase in work experience for single mothers with young children. We then examine the economic return to this increase in experience for affected single mothers. Despite the increases in experience, single mothers’ real wages and employment have remained relatively unchanged. The empirical analysis suggests that an additional year of experience increases single mothers’ wage rates by less than 2 percent, a percentage lower than previous estimates in the literature. (Author abstract)

    Policy changes in the United States in the 1990s resulted in sizable increases in employment rates of single mothers. We show that this increase led to a large and abrupt increase in work experience for single mothers with young children. We then examine the economic return to this increase in experience for affected single mothers. Despite the increases in experience, single mothers’ real wages and employment have remained relatively unchanged. The empirical analysis suggests that an additional year of experience increases single mothers’ wage rates by less than 2 percent, a percentage lower than previous estimates in the literature. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martorell, Paco; Stange, Kevin; McFarlin Jr., Isaac
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Public investments in repairs, modernization, and construction of schools cost billions. However, little is known about the nature of school facility investments, whether such investments actually change the physical condition of public schools, and the subsequent causal impacts on student achievement. We study the achievement effects of nearly 1,400 capital campaigns initiated and financed by local school districts, comparing districts where school capital bonds were either narrowly approved or narrowly defeated by district voters. Overall, we find little evidence that school capital campaigns improve student achievement. Our event-study analyses focusing on students that attend targeted schools and therefore are exposed to major campus renovations also generate very precise zero estimates of achievement effects. Thus, locally financed school capital campaigns - the predominant method through which facility investments are made - may represent a limited tool for realizing substantial gains in student achievement or closing achievement gaps. (Author abstract)

    Public investments in repairs, modernization, and construction of schools cost billions. However, little is known about the nature of school facility investments, whether such investments actually change the physical condition of public schools, and the subsequent causal impacts on student achievement. We study the achievement effects of nearly 1,400 capital campaigns initiated and financed by local school districts, comparing districts where school capital bonds were either narrowly approved or narrowly defeated by district voters. Overall, we find little evidence that school capital campaigns improve student achievement. Our event-study analyses focusing on students that attend targeted schools and therefore are exposed to major campus renovations also generate very precise zero estimates of achievement effects. Thus, locally financed school capital campaigns - the predominant method through which facility investments are made - may represent a limited tool for realizing substantial gains in student achievement or closing achievement gaps. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: O'Leary, Christopher J.; Kline, Kenneth J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Regular state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are paid from state reserves held in unemployment trust fund accounts at the U.S. Treasury. Employers covered by the federal-state UI system make contributions to reserve accounts based on taxable wages. The federal government provides incentives for forward funding of benefits to support UI as an automatic macroeconomic stabilizer in the economy. However, the Great Recession exhausted UI reserves for the majority of states, and not all of them have yet replenished those reserves. Based on patterns observed over the past 40 years, in this paper we simulate the effects on state and systemwide reserves supposing that a mild, moderate, or severe recession emerges in the coming months. Our results suggest that even a moderate recession would cause a majority of states to exhaust UI reserves and be forced to borrow to pay regular UI benefits. We note that recent experience with federal funding of extended and emergency benefits may have contributed to the current state UI financing posture, and we suggest that the taxable wage bases...

    Regular state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are paid from state reserves held in unemployment trust fund accounts at the U.S. Treasury. Employers covered by the federal-state UI system make contributions to reserve accounts based on taxable wages. The federal government provides incentives for forward funding of benefits to support UI as an automatic macroeconomic stabilizer in the economy. However, the Great Recession exhausted UI reserves for the majority of states, and not all of them have yet replenished those reserves. Based on patterns observed over the past 40 years, in this paper we simulate the effects on state and systemwide reserves supposing that a mild, moderate, or severe recession emerges in the coming months. Our results suggest that even a moderate recession would cause a majority of states to exhaust UI reserves and be forced to borrow to pay regular UI benefits. We note that recent experience with federal funding of extended and emergency benefits may have contributed to the current state UI financing posture, and we suggest that the taxable wage bases are insufficient. The UI system exists to help involuntarily jobless Americans while they are between jobs. By accepted standards of adequacy, benefit provisions are not excessive, but limits in the financing system make it slow to recover from debt. State reserve funds have not yet reached levels sufficient to weather another economic storm. (Author abstract)

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