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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: Murphy-Erby, Yvette; Hamilton, Leah; Shobe, Marcia; Christy, Kameri; Hampton-Stover, Elena; Jordan, Shikkiah
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Many states are implementing asset development strategies to promote postsecondary education for low- to moderate-income families, realizing that limited education is a powerful predictor of poverty, and poverty mediates the likelihood of obtaining postsecondary education. Using demographic and qualitative data collected from two groups of low- to moderate-income parents (N = 24), this article highlights two programs that promote savings and increase post-secondary education for these children and families. The 21st Century Scholars Program targets youths, and the complementary Educational Development Accounts program targets their parents. This article also explores perspectives of the participants’ experiences, beliefs, and perceptions relative to savings and education and the success of their children in these areas. It concludes with implications for asset-building programs and policy whose aim is to assist low- to moderate-income families in achieving economic and educational mobility and implications for social welfare policy. (author abstract)

    Many states are implementing asset development strategies to promote postsecondary education for low- to moderate-income families, realizing that limited education is a powerful predictor of poverty, and poverty mediates the likelihood of obtaining postsecondary education. Using demographic and qualitative data collected from two groups of low- to moderate-income parents (N = 24), this article highlights two programs that promote savings and increase post-secondary education for these children and families. The 21st Century Scholars Program targets youths, and the complementary Educational Development Accounts program targets their parents. This article also explores perspectives of the participants’ experiences, beliefs, and perceptions relative to savings and education and the success of their children in these areas. It concludes with implications for asset-building programs and policy whose aim is to assist low- to moderate-income families in achieving economic and educational mobility and implications for social welfare policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Leonard, Tammy; Di, Wenhua
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This paper analyzed the influence of financial behaviors on the duration out of asset poverty while controlling for households’ life cycle and demographic characteristics. We found evidence for the existence of structural barriers to asset acquisition. Asset accumulation at or above levels equal to nine-months worth of income at the income-poverty level was important for improving a household’s odds of permanently escaping asset poverty, but a linear relationship between asset accumulation and the likelihood of returning to asset poverty did not emerge. Moreover, minimizing debt and diversifying the asset portfolio to include more productive assets were positively related to maintaining assets; but households should also consider the risks associated with portfolio allocations. (author abstract)

    This paper analyzed the influence of financial behaviors on the duration out of asset poverty while controlling for households’ life cycle and demographic characteristics. We found evidence for the existence of structural barriers to asset acquisition. Asset accumulation at or above levels equal to nine-months worth of income at the income-poverty level was important for improving a household’s odds of permanently escaping asset poverty, but a linear relationship between asset accumulation and the likelihood of returning to asset poverty did not emerge. Moreover, minimizing debt and diversifying the asset portfolio to include more productive assets were positively related to maintaining assets; but households should also consider the risks associated with portfolio allocations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rothwell, David; Sultana, Nahid
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Understanding how low-income households manage their finances is critical to designing effective antipoverty interventions. This study used data from a 2008 follow-up survey of 326 low-income households in Hawaii who participated in an Individual Development Account (IDA) intervention from 1999 to 2005. Self-reported cash flow (five items) and savings (four items) practices were explored using latent class analysis. Three latent classes were produced: Class 3 managed cash flows and saved (n = 166; 51%); Class 2 managed cash flows but did not save (n = 73; 22%); and Class 1 struggled to manage cash flows and save (n = 89; 27%). Using ordinal regression, psychological sense of mastery was positively and significantly (p < .01) related to being in a higher class membership (b = .14; OR = 1.15). IDA participation had no association with latent classification. The key finding is the heterogeneity among low-income financial management practices and the importance of providing individualized services. Future longitudinal research is needed to understand how IDA participation affects...

    Understanding how low-income households manage their finances is critical to designing effective antipoverty interventions. This study used data from a 2008 follow-up survey of 326 low-income households in Hawaii who participated in an Individual Development Account (IDA) intervention from 1999 to 2005. Self-reported cash flow (five items) and savings (four items) practices were explored using latent class analysis. Three latent classes were produced: Class 3 managed cash flows and saved (n = 166; 51%); Class 2 managed cash flows but did not save (n = 73; 22%); and Class 1 struggled to manage cash flows and save (n = 89; 27%). Using ordinal regression, psychological sense of mastery was positively and significantly (p < .01) related to being in a higher class membership (b = .14; OR = 1.15). IDA participation had no association with latent classification. The key finding is the heterogeneity among low-income financial management practices and the importance of providing individualized services. Future longitudinal research is needed to understand how IDA participation affects financial practices in the short term and long term. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Butrica, Barbara; Smith, Karen E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Minority and divorced women have historically experienced double-digit poverty rates in retirement, and demographic trends will increase their representation in future retiree populations. We might expect an increase in the proportion of economically vulnerable divorced women in the future. Factors associated with higher retirement incomes include having a college degree; having strong labor force attachment; receiving Social Security benefits; and having pensions, retirement accounts, or assets, regardless of race and ethnicity. Because divorced minority women are less likely than divorced white women to have these attributes, their projected average retirement incomes are lower than those of divorced white women. (author abstract)

    Minority and divorced women have historically experienced double-digit poverty rates in retirement, and demographic trends will increase their representation in future retiree populations. We might expect an increase in the proportion of economically vulnerable divorced women in the future. Factors associated with higher retirement incomes include having a college degree; having strong labor force attachment; receiving Social Security benefits; and having pensions, retirement accounts, or assets, regardless of race and ethnicity. Because divorced minority women are less likely than divorced white women to have these attributes, their projected average retirement incomes are lower than those of divorced white women. (author abstract)

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