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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Herd, Dean; Lightman, Ernie; Mitchell, Andrew
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    This paper examines time limits on the receipt of welfare, based on experiences in the United States and, since 2002, in British Columbia, the only province to have introduced time limits in Canada. In effect, time limits start a ‘clock’ running and when the time has expired, welfare recipients become subject to penalties, up to lifetime exclusion from welfare. The paper begins by describing the introduction of time limits in the US and Canada, detailing the often complex policies themselves. It then reviews the research evidence, drawing primarily on the US experience which has been more fully evaluated. Overall, the research shows that time limits are both philosophically flawed and a blunt and ineffective policy tool. Proponents of time limits advocate their use as part of a package of measures designed to change the behaviour of individuals and to reduce welfare “dependency”. Instead, the research shows that those who reach time limits face multiple barriers to employment. In practical terms, recognition of the human costs of time limits in both the US and British Columbia...

    This paper examines time limits on the receipt of welfare, based on experiences in the United States and, since 2002, in British Columbia, the only province to have introduced time limits in Canada. In effect, time limits start a ‘clock’ running and when the time has expired, welfare recipients become subject to penalties, up to lifetime exclusion from welfare. The paper begins by describing the introduction of time limits in the US and Canada, detailing the often complex policies themselves. It then reviews the research evidence, drawing primarily on the US experience which has been more fully evaluated. Overall, the research shows that time limits are both philosophically flawed and a blunt and ineffective policy tool. Proponents of time limits advocate their use as part of a package of measures designed to change the behaviour of individuals and to reduce welfare “dependency”. Instead, the research shows that those who reach time limits face multiple barriers to employment. In practical terms, recognition of the human costs of time limits in both the US and British Columbia has led to the development of broad exemptions and extensions. While this has negated many of the impacts of time limits, the powerful symbolism remains. The presence of time limits graphically highlights the transformed purpose and scope of welfare. As such, while the practical impact in British Columbia has been significantly reduced, time limits continue to cast an ominous shadow over those in need of assistance. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grogger, Jeffrey; Karoly, Lynn A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work. Although the effects of such programmes on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. We review a few studies that provide such information here. We sketch a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that we observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. Our theoretical framework likewise explains the observed variation in the effects of such programmes on children. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

    Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work. Although the effects of such programmes on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. We review a few studies that provide such information here. We sketch a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that we observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. Our theoretical framework likewise explains the observed variation in the effects of such programmes on children. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

  • Individual Author: Morris, Pamela; Duncan, Greg J.; Rodrigues, Christopher
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Social scientists do not agree on the size and nature of the causal impacts of parental income on children's achievement. We revisit this issue using a set of welfare and antipoverty experiments conducted in the 1990s. We utilize an instrumental variables strategy to leverage the variation in income and achievement that arises from random assignment to the treatment group to estimate the causal effect of income on child achievement. Our estimates suggest that a $1,000 increase in annual income increases young children's achievement by 5%–6% of a standard deviation. As such, our results suggest that family income has a policy-relevant, positive impact on the eventual school achievement of preschool children. (author abstract)

    Social scientists do not agree on the size and nature of the causal impacts of parental income on children's achievement. We revisit this issue using a set of welfare and antipoverty experiments conducted in the 1990s. We utilize an instrumental variables strategy to leverage the variation in income and achievement that arises from random assignment to the treatment group to estimate the causal effect of income on child achievement. Our estimates suggest that a $1,000 increase in annual income increases young children's achievement by 5%–6% of a standard deviation. As such, our results suggest that family income has a policy-relevant, positive impact on the eventual school achievement of preschool children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nichols-Casebolt, Ann; Krysik, Judy
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    This paper addresses the comparative economic wellbeing of never- and ever-married mother families across four Western industrialized countries. Data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) are used to describe the contribution of employment, public transfer, and child support income, as well as demographic variables, to the poverty status of these two family types. The findings are discussed within the context of what might be learned for addressing the economic risks faced by single mother families in the United States. (author abstract)

    This paper addresses the comparative economic wellbeing of never- and ever-married mother families across four Western industrialized countries. Data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) are used to describe the contribution of employment, public transfer, and child support income, as well as demographic variables, to the poverty status of these two family types. The findings are discussed within the context of what might be learned for addressing the economic risks faced by single mother families in the United States. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zabel, Jeffery; Schwartz, Saul; Donald, Stephen
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) was a Canadian randomized trial in which the program group had 12 months to find full-time employment in order to qualify for a subsidy that roughly doubled their pre-tax earnings for the next three years. We find evidence of significant impacts of SSP on non-employment and employment durations. For the treated group, simulation results show an impact on the employment rate at 52 months after random assignment in the range of 7 to 11 percentage points; this is approximately a 25% increase in the employment rate compared with having no treatment in place. (author abstract)

    The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) was a Canadian randomized trial in which the program group had 12 months to find full-time employment in order to qualify for a subsidy that roughly doubled their pre-tax earnings for the next three years. We find evidence of significant impacts of SSP on non-employment and employment durations. For the treated group, simulation results show an impact on the employment rate at 52 months after random assignment in the range of 7 to 11 percentage points; this is approximately a 25% increase in the employment rate compared with having no treatment in place. (author abstract)

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