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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: Shaefer, H. Luke; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study documents an increase in the prevalence of extreme poverty among US households with children between 1996 and 2011 and assesses the response of major federal means-tested transfer programs. Extreme poverty is defined using a World Bank metric of global poverty: $2 or less, per person, per day. Using the 1996–2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP, we estimate that in mid-2011, 1.65 million households with 3.55 million children were living in extreme poverty in a given month, based on cash income, constituting 4.3 percent of all nonelderly households with children. The prevalence of extreme poverty has risen sharply since 1996, particularly among those most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. Adding SNAP benefits to household income reduces the number of extremely poor households with children by 48.0 percent in mid-2011. Adding SNAP, refundable tax credits, and housing subsidies reduces it by 62.8 percent. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a...

    This study documents an increase in the prevalence of extreme poverty among US households with children between 1996 and 2011 and assesses the response of major federal means-tested transfer programs. Extreme poverty is defined using a World Bank metric of global poverty: $2 or less, per person, per day. Using the 1996–2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP, we estimate that in mid-2011, 1.65 million households with 3.55 million children were living in extreme poverty in a given month, based on cash income, constituting 4.3 percent of all nonelderly households with children. The prevalence of extreme poverty has risen sharply since 1996, particularly among those most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. Adding SNAP benefits to household income reduces the number of extremely poor households with children by 48.0 percent in mid-2011. Adding SNAP, refundable tax credits, and housing subsidies reduces it by 62.8 percent. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Ho, Christine
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    We analyse the impact of the early 1990s welfare waivers and the 1996 TANF reform in the United States on at-risk mothers' labour supply behaviour using the PSID. We find that whereas the welfare waivers had limited impacts on at-risk mothers, the TANF reform played an important role in encouraging those mothers to increase their labour supply at the intensive margin. (author abstract) 

    We analyse the impact of the early 1990s welfare waivers and the 1996 TANF reform in the United States on at-risk mothers' labour supply behaviour using the PSID. We find that whereas the welfare waivers had limited impacts on at-risk mothers, the TANF reform played an important role in encouraging those mothers to increase their labour supply at the intensive margin. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Gould-Werth, Alix; Shaefer, H. Luke
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the major social insurance program that protects against lost earnings resulting from involuntary unemployment. Existing literature finds that low-earning unemployed workers experience difficulty accessing UI benefits. The most prominent policy reform designed to increase rates of monetary eligibility, and thus UI receipt, among these unemployed workers is the Alternative Base Period (ABP). In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sought to increase use of the ABP, making ABP adoption a necessary precondition for states to receive their share of the $7 billion targeted at UI programs. By January 2013, 40 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the ABP despite the absence of an evaluation of ABP efficacy using nationally representative data. This study analyzes Current Population Survey data from 1987 to 2011 to assess the efficacy of the ABP in increasing UI receipt among low-educated unemployed workers. We used a natural-experiment design to capture the combined behavioral and mechanical effects of the policy change. We found no...

    Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the major social insurance program that protects against lost earnings resulting from involuntary unemployment. Existing literature finds that low-earning unemployed workers experience difficulty accessing UI benefits. The most prominent policy reform designed to increase rates of monetary eligibility, and thus UI receipt, among these unemployed workers is the Alternative Base Period (ABP). In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sought to increase use of the ABP, making ABP adoption a necessary precondition for states to receive their share of the $7 billion targeted at UI programs. By January 2013, 40 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the ABP despite the absence of an evaluation of ABP efficacy using nationally representative data. This study analyzes Current Population Survey data from 1987 to 2011 to assess the efficacy of the ABP in increasing UI receipt among low-educated unemployed workers. We used a natural-experiment design to capture the combined behavioral and mechanical effects of the policy change. We found no association between state-level ABP adoption and individual UI receipt for all unemployed workers. However, among part-time unemployed workers with less than a high school degree, adoption of the ABP was associated with a 2.8 percentage point increase in the probability of UI receipt. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Hawkins, Alan J.; Amato, Paul R.; Kinghorn, Andrea
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study assesses whether government-supported Healthy Marriage Initiatives (HMIs)—educational programs to help couples form and sustain healthy marriages and relationships—have had a measurable impact on population-level family outcomes. We compiled data on funding for these initiatives between 2000 and 2010 and aggregated these data to the state level for each year. We employed pooled time-series regression with fixed state and year effects to estimate the effects of funding on population-level outcomes taken from the American Community Survey. Cumulative per capita funding for HMIs between 2005 and 2010 was positively associated with small changes in the percentage of married adults in the population and children living with two parents, and it was negatively associated with the percentage of children living with one parent, nonmarital births, and children living in poverty. These results were diminished, however, when an influential outlier—Washington, DC—was removed from the analysis. Interpretations and implications of these findings are discussed.(author abstract)

    This study assesses whether government-supported Healthy Marriage Initiatives (HMIs)—educational programs to help couples form and sustain healthy marriages and relationships—have had a measurable impact on population-level family outcomes. We compiled data on funding for these initiatives between 2000 and 2010 and aggregated these data to the state level for each year. We employed pooled time-series regression with fixed state and year effects to estimate the effects of funding on population-level outcomes taken from the American Community Survey. Cumulative per capita funding for HMIs between 2005 and 2010 was positively associated with small changes in the percentage of married adults in the population and children living with two parents, and it was negatively associated with the percentage of children living with one parent, nonmarital births, and children living in poverty. These results were diminished, however, when an influential outlier—Washington, DC—was removed from the analysis. Interpretations and implications of these findings are discussed.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Muennig, Peter; Rosen, Zohn; Wilde, Ty
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    During the 1990s reforms to the US welfare system introduced new time limits on people’s eligibility to receive public assistance. These limits were developed to encourage welfare recipients to seek employment. Little is known about how such social policy programs may have affected participants’ health. We explored whether the Florida Family Transition Program randomized trial, a welfare reform experiment, led to long-term changes in mortality among participants. The Florida program included a 24–36-month time limit for welfare participation, intensive job training, and placement assistance. We linked 3,224 participants from the experiment to 17–18 years of prospective mortality follow-up data and found that participants in the program experienced a 16 percent higher mortality rate than recipients of traditional welfare. If our results are generalizable to national welfare reform efforts, they raise questions about whether the cost savings associated with welfare reform justify the additional loss of life. (author abstract)

    During the 1990s reforms to the US welfare system introduced new time limits on people’s eligibility to receive public assistance. These limits were developed to encourage welfare recipients to seek employment. Little is known about how such social policy programs may have affected participants’ health. We explored whether the Florida Family Transition Program randomized trial, a welfare reform experiment, led to long-term changes in mortality among participants. The Florida program included a 24–36-month time limit for welfare participation, intensive job training, and placement assistance. We linked 3,224 participants from the experiment to 17–18 years of prospective mortality follow-up data and found that participants in the program experienced a 16 percent higher mortality rate than recipients of traditional welfare. If our results are generalizable to national welfare reform efforts, they raise questions about whether the cost savings associated with welfare reform justify the additional loss of life. (author abstract)

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