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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: Heinrich, Carolyn J.; Smeeding, Timothy M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This policy brief, the second of two drawn from the IRP and CHASP conference on "Building Human Capital and Economic Potential," examines the special challenges of people with less than a high school diploma, ex-offenders, and young single mothers and policy options to address them. (author abstract)

    This policy brief, the second of two drawn from the IRP and CHASP conference on "Building Human Capital and Economic Potential," examines the special challenges of people with less than a high school diploma, ex-offenders, and young single mothers and policy options to address them. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edelman, Peter B.; Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author...

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author abstract)

    Also published as IRP Discussion Paper 1412-13.

  • Individual Author: Mead, Lawrence M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sweeten, Gary; Apel, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    Existing research establishes a lengthy list of adverse outcomes of incarceration that includes an elevated risk of criminal offending as well as unfavorable outcomes in the labor market, the institution of education, and the marriage market. These findings are consistent enough that it is tempting to attribute them to the causal effect of incarceration, particularly to the social stigma that attaches to individuals with a prison record. In light of the recent visibility of this research and the importance of public policies that flow logically from it, we revisit the impact of juvenile (ages 16-17) and young adult (18-19) incarceration on short- and medium-term outcomes in a variety of domains. This paper is directly concerned with the problem of causal identification. We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to estimate difference-indifferences models as well as propensity score matching. The empirical results suggest that there is evidence of causal effects for some types of outcomes. For example, while we find that incarceration reduces the probability...

    Existing research establishes a lengthy list of adverse outcomes of incarceration that includes an elevated risk of criminal offending as well as unfavorable outcomes in the labor market, the institution of education, and the marriage market. These findings are consistent enough that it is tempting to attribute them to the causal effect of incarceration, particularly to the social stigma that attaches to individuals with a prison record. In light of the recent visibility of this research and the importance of public policies that flow logically from it, we revisit the impact of juvenile (ages 16-17) and young adult (18-19) incarceration on short- and medium-term outcomes in a variety of domains. This paper is directly concerned with the problem of causal identification. We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to estimate difference-indifferences models as well as propensity score matching. The empirical results suggest that there is evidence of causal effects for some types of outcomes. For example, while we find that incarceration reduces the probability of formal employment, we find no adverse effect on wages among those who are employed. We find that the most consistent negative outcomes attributable to the experience of incarceration are related to educational attainment. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sugie, Naomi F.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    The United States criminal justice and welfare systems are two important government institutions in the lives of the poor. Despite many theoretical discussions about their relationship, their operation at the level of offenders and families remains poorly understood. This paper utilizes Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing data to examine how recent paternal incarceration is associated with families' receipt of TANF, food stamps, and Medicaid/SCHIP. Results robust to multiple tests find that incarceration is not related to subsequent TANF receipt but is significantly associated with increased receipt of food stamps and Medicaid/SCHIP. The findings suggest that greater government involvement among poor families is an unexpected consequence of mass imprisonment; however, increased participation does not include TANF – the cash assistance program of most concern to theorists. (author abstract)

    The United States criminal justice and welfare systems are two important government institutions in the lives of the poor. Despite many theoretical discussions about their relationship, their operation at the level of offenders and families remains poorly understood. This paper utilizes Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing data to examine how recent paternal incarceration is associated with families' receipt of TANF, food stamps, and Medicaid/SCHIP. Results robust to multiple tests find that incarceration is not related to subsequent TANF receipt but is significantly associated with increased receipt of food stamps and Medicaid/SCHIP. The findings suggest that greater government involvement among poor families is an unexpected consequence of mass imprisonment; however, increased participation does not include TANF – the cash assistance program of most concern to theorists. (author abstract)

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