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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: Edmiston, Kelly D.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    The worst recession in U.S. postwar history, starting in late 2007, confronted low- and moderate-income families and individuals with distinct challenges. To address the severe lack of data on the "LMI," population, the Kansas City Fed launched its LMI Survey in 2009.

    Distributed to more than 700 organizations that provide services to the LMI population, the Survey elicits a wealth of qualitative reporting. It also produces quantitative data, including several quarterly indexes that track changes in LMI financial conditions over time.

    Edmiston summarizes insights from the Survey on how the recession and anemic recovery have affected job availability for the LMI population, affordable housing, access to credit and demand for basic services. The findings are useful for policymakers seeking to promote financial success among the 30 million U.S. families classified as LMI. (author abstract)

    The worst recession in U.S. postwar history, starting in late 2007, confronted low- and moderate-income families and individuals with distinct challenges. To address the severe lack of data on the "LMI," population, the Kansas City Fed launched its LMI Survey in 2009.

    Distributed to more than 700 organizations that provide services to the LMI population, the Survey elicits a wealth of qualitative reporting. It also produces quantitative data, including several quarterly indexes that track changes in LMI financial conditions over time.

    Edmiston summarizes insights from the Survey on how the recession and anemic recovery have affected job availability for the LMI population, affordable housing, access to credit and demand for basic services. The findings are useful for policymakers seeking to promote financial success among the 30 million U.S. families classified as LMI. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dickert-Conlin, Stacy; Fitzpatrick, Katie; Tiehen, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In 2004 the U.S. Department of Agriculture began a large-scale advertising campaign to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by increasing awareness about the program. Despite this and other large-scale outreach efforts for federal programs targeted at eligible nonparticipants, the role of information in program participation is not well established. Paying careful attention to the potential endogeneity of advertising placement, we use variation over time and within states to estimate the effect of the advertising on caseloads, applications, approved applications, and denied applications. We find that radio advertisements are positively correlated with county-level caseloads in a sample that represents nearly every U.S. county. Six months after radio advertising in a county, the number of individuals receiving SNAP is 2 to 3 percent higher. With a smaller sample of counties on SNAP applications, approvals, and denials, we find limited evidence that SNAP is positively correlated with overall applications. However, approved applications are...

    In 2004 the U.S. Department of Agriculture began a large-scale advertising campaign to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by increasing awareness about the program. Despite this and other large-scale outreach efforts for federal programs targeted at eligible nonparticipants, the role of information in program participation is not well established. Paying careful attention to the potential endogeneity of advertising placement, we use variation over time and within states to estimate the effect of the advertising on caseloads, applications, approved applications, and denied applications. We find that radio advertisements are positively correlated with county-level caseloads in a sample that represents nearly every U.S. county. Six months after radio advertising in a county, the number of individuals receiving SNAP is 2 to 3 percent higher. With a smaller sample of counties on SNAP applications, approvals, and denials, we find limited evidence that SNAP is positively correlated with overall applications. However, approved applications are not higher following radio advertisement exposure and denied applications increase. One way to reconcile the fact that caseloads are higher but new enrollments are not is that increased information from the advertising campaign may reduce exits from the program. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stieglitz, Ali; Johnson, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), in collaboration with the Urban Institute, has examined what local communities in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon have done to improve the coordination of this response system. This report, funded by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses specifically on the strategies that the child support and public assistance agencies in these sites have taken to improve the interagency coordination of information and services for victims of domestic violence with regard to the child support collection process, both for domestic violence victims who want exemption from this process and those who want to collect child support safely. Sometimes this coordination of effort extends to others, such as court personnel or staff from local domestic violence service organizations. The study's primary goal is to offer guidance for policymakers and agency staff in other states as they design and implement interagency strategies to help victims pursue child support safely. Given...

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), in collaboration with the Urban Institute, has examined what local communities in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon have done to improve the coordination of this response system. This report, funded by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses specifically on the strategies that the child support and public assistance agencies in these sites have taken to improve the interagency coordination of information and services for victims of domestic violence with regard to the child support collection process, both for domestic violence victims who want exemption from this process and those who want to collect child support safely. Sometimes this coordination of effort extends to others, such as court personnel or staff from local domestic violence service organizations. The study's primary goal is to offer guidance for policymakers and agency staff in other states as they design and implement interagency strategies to help victims pursue child support safely. Given its focused purpose, the study does not attempt to present a comprehensive analysis of child support enforcement policies, domestic violence issues, or the outcomes that resulted from the initiatives in our study sites. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Fishman, Michael; Laud, Stephanie; Allen, Vincena
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)of 1996, most families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are subject to work requirements and time limits on benefit receipt.  However, one portion of the TANF caseload, cases where only a child or children are receiving assistance, are generally exempt from these federal requirements.  These "child-only" cases are not currently growing in absolute numbers but are becoming an increasing proportion of the overall TANF caseload.  In 1998, child-only cases made up 23 percent of the TANF caseload nationally, ranging from 10 percent to 47 percent of state caseloads.  This has led to increasing interest in understanding the characteristics of child-only cases and the program services they receive.

    A variety of circumstances result in child-only cases.  In some cases, the child is not living with a parent, but with a relative, who chooses not to be included in the assistance unit or whose income and assets preclude him or her from receiving cash assistance.  In other situations...

    Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)of 1996, most families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are subject to work requirements and time limits on benefit receipt.  However, one portion of the TANF caseload, cases where only a child or children are receiving assistance, are generally exempt from these federal requirements.  These "child-only" cases are not currently growing in absolute numbers but are becoming an increasing proportion of the overall TANF caseload.  In 1998, child-only cases made up 23 percent of the TANF caseload nationally, ranging from 10 percent to 47 percent of state caseloads.  This has led to increasing interest in understanding the characteristics of child-only cases and the program services they receive.

    A variety of circumstances result in child-only cases.  In some cases, the child is not living with a parent, but with a relative, who chooses not to be included in the assistance unit or whose income and assets preclude him or her from receiving cash assistance.  In other situations, the child is living with a parent, but the parent is a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient, a non-qualified alien, a qualified alien who entered the country after August 1996, a sanctioned adult, or otherwise excluded.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contracted with The Lewin Group to obtain more information about the characteristics and trends of the child-only population.  This report describes how federal and state policies affect child-only caseloads, discusses the national TANF and child-only caseload trends, and examines the characteristics of child-only cases.  For a more in-depth review, The Lewin Group focused on three states — California, Florida, and Missouri — interviewing state and county officials and staff, conducting case file reviews in one county in each state, and analyzing administrative data. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Michalopoulos, Charles
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Social policy evaluations usually use classical statistical methods, which may, for example, compare outcomes for program and comparison groups and determine whether the estimated differences (or impacts) are statistically significant — meaning they are unlikely to have been generated by a program with no effect. This approach has two important shortcomings. First, it is geared toward testing hypotheses regarding specific possible program effects — most commonly, whether a program has zero effect. It is difficult with this framework to test a hypothesis that, say, the program’s estimated impact is larger than 10 (whether 10 percentage points, $10, or some other measure). Second, readers often view results through the lens of their own expectations. A program developer may interpret results positively even if they are not statistically significant — that is, they do not confirm the program’s effectiveness — while a skeptic might interpret with caution statistically significant impact estimates that do not follow theoretical expectations.

    This paper uses Bayesian methods —...

    Social policy evaluations usually use classical statistical methods, which may, for example, compare outcomes for program and comparison groups and determine whether the estimated differences (or impacts) are statistically significant — meaning they are unlikely to have been generated by a program with no effect. This approach has two important shortcomings. First, it is geared toward testing hypotheses regarding specific possible program effects — most commonly, whether a program has zero effect. It is difficult with this framework to test a hypothesis that, say, the program’s estimated impact is larger than 10 (whether 10 percentage points, $10, or some other measure). Second, readers often view results through the lens of their own expectations. A program developer may interpret results positively even if they are not statistically significant — that is, they do not confirm the program’s effectiveness — while a skeptic might interpret with caution statistically significant impact estimates that do not follow theoretical expectations.

    This paper uses Bayesian methods — an alternative to classical statistics — to reanalyze results from three studies in the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ (HtE) Demonstration and Evaluation Project, which is testing interventions to increase employment and reduce welfare dependency for low-income adults with serious barriers to employment. In interpreting new data from a social policy evaluation, a Bayesian analysis formally incorporates prior beliefs, or expectations (known as "priors"), about the social policy into the statistical analysis and characterizes results in terms of the distribution of possible effects, instead of whether the effects are consistent with a true effect of zero.

    The main question addressed in the paper is whether a Bayesian approach tends to confirm or contradict published results. Results of the Bayesian analysis generally confirm the published findings that impacts from the three HtE programs examined here tend to be small. This is in part because results for the three sites are broadly consistent with findings from similar studies, but in part because each of the sites included a relatively large sample. The Bayesian framework may be more informative when applied to smaller studies that might not be expected to provide statistically significant impact estimates on their own. (author abstract)

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