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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: Meyer, Bruce D.; Rosenbaum, Dan T.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    During 1984-96 there were enormous changes in welfare and tax policy. In particular, there were large; expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Medicaid, changes in the Aid to Families with Dependent; Children (AFDC) program and related training and child care programs. Many of the program changes were intended to; encourage low income women to work. During this same time period there were unprecedented increases in the; employment of single mothers, particularly those with young children. In this paper, we first document these large; changes in policies and employment. We then examine if the policy changes are the reason for the large increases in; single mothers’ employment. We find evidence that a large share of the increase in work by single mothers can be; attributed to the EITC, with smaller shares for welfare benefit reductions, welfare waivers, changes in training programs,; and child care expansions. Our results also indicate that financial incentives through the tax and welfare systems have; substantial effects on single mothers’ employment decisions. (...

    During 1984-96 there were enormous changes in welfare and tax policy. In particular, there were large; expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Medicaid, changes in the Aid to Families with Dependent; Children (AFDC) program and related training and child care programs. Many of the program changes were intended to; encourage low income women to work. During this same time period there were unprecedented increases in the; employment of single mothers, particularly those with young children. In this paper, we first document these large; changes in policies and employment. We then examine if the policy changes are the reason for the large increases in; single mothers’ employment. We find evidence that a large share of the increase in work by single mothers can be; attributed to the EITC, with smaller shares for welfare benefit reductions, welfare waivers, changes in training programs,; and child care expansions. Our results also indicate that financial incentives through the tax and welfare systems have; substantial effects on single mothers’ employment decisions. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pilkauskas, Natasha ; Michelmore, Katherine
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Housing instability (inability to pay rent, frequent moves, doubling up, eviction, or homelessness) is common among low-income households and is linked with a host of negative outcomes for families and children. As rents have risen and wages have not kept pace, housing affordability has declined over the last 15 years, increasing rates of housing instability. In this study, we examine whether the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a key US social welfare policy and one of the largest cash transfer programs in the US, reduces housing instability. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we employ a simulated instruments strategy to examine whether policy-induced expansions in the EITC reduce housing instability. Results suggest that a $1,000 increase in the EITC reduces doubling up (living with other non-nuclear family adults) 3 to 5 percentage points. We find some suggestive evidence that the EITC decreases the average number of moves per year (0.05 moves). While our results suggest that the EITC...

    Housing instability (inability to pay rent, frequent moves, doubling up, eviction, or homelessness) is common among low-income households and is linked with a host of negative outcomes for families and children. As rents have risen and wages have not kept pace, housing affordability has declined over the last 15 years, increasing rates of housing instability. In this study, we examine whether the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a key US social welfare policy and one of the largest cash transfer programs in the US, reduces housing instability. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we employ a simulated instruments strategy to examine whether policy-induced expansions in the EITC reduce housing instability. Results suggest that a $1,000 increase in the EITC reduces doubling up (living with other non-nuclear family adults) 3 to 5 percentage points. We find some suggestive evidence that the EITC decreases the average number of moves per year (0.05 moves). While our results suggest that the EITC does decrease certain, less severe forms of housing instability, we find no evidence that the EITC decreases more extreme (and rarer) forms of housing instability: eviction or homelessness. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bitler, Marianne P.; Hines, Annie Laurie; Page, Marianne
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Although a growing number of studies suggest that providing poor families with income supplements of as little as $1,000 per year will improve children’s well-being, many poor children miss important sources of income support provided through the tax system because their parents either do not work or do not file taxes. Accessing assistance through means-tested programs is also challenging. We propose replacing the complicated array of benefits provided through the tax system with a universal child benefit of $2,000 per child that would be available regardless of parents’ work status. Our reform would ensure that all children receive enough assistance to make a difference and it would be simpler and more equitable than the current array of child benefits that are provided through the tax code. (Author abstract)

    Although a growing number of studies suggest that providing poor families with income supplements of as little as $1,000 per year will improve children’s well-being, many poor children miss important sources of income support provided through the tax system because their parents either do not work or do not file taxes. Accessing assistance through means-tested programs is also challenging. We propose replacing the complicated array of benefits provided through the tax system with a universal child benefit of $2,000 per child that would be available regardless of parents’ work status. Our reform would ensure that all children receive enough assistance to make a difference and it would be simpler and more equitable than the current array of child benefits that are provided through the tax code. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lim, Younghee
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    This study estimates the effect of 'refundable' state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) on child poverty from 1994 through 2003. Research results indicate that a refundable state EITC is associated with reductions in child poverty, holding all other variables constant. For example, states with refundable state EITCs have observed a 40% greater reduction in child poverty rates compared to states without refundable state EITCs. This study also discusses policy implications for implementing the 'refundable' state EITC. (Author abstract)

    This study estimates the effect of 'refundable' state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) on child poverty from 1994 through 2003. Research results indicate that a refundable state EITC is associated with reductions in child poverty, holding all other variables constant. For example, states with refundable state EITCs have observed a 40% greater reduction in child poverty rates compared to states without refundable state EITCs. This study also discusses policy implications for implementing the 'refundable' state EITC. (Author abstract)

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