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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: Hoxby, Caroline; Turner, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Only a minority of high-achieving, low-income students apply to colleges in the same way that other high-achieving students do: applying to several selective colleges whose curriculum is designed for students with a level of achievement like their own. This is despite the fact that selective colleges typically cost them high-achieving, low-income students less while offering them more generous resources than the non-selective postsecondary institutions they mainly attend. In previous work, we demonstrate that the vast majority of high-achieving, low-income students are unlikely to be reached by traditional methods of informing students about their college opportunities since such methods require the students to be concentrated geographically. In this study, we use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate interventions that provide students with semi-customized information on the application process and colleges' net costs. The interventions also provide students with no-paperwork application fee waivers. The ECO Comprehensive (ECO-C) Intervention costs about $6 per student, and...

    Only a minority of high-achieving, low-income students apply to colleges in the same way that other high-achieving students do: applying to several selective colleges whose curriculum is designed for students with a level of achievement like their own. This is despite the fact that selective colleges typically cost them high-achieving, low-income students less while offering them more generous resources than the non-selective postsecondary institutions they mainly attend. In previous work, we demonstrate that the vast majority of high-achieving, low-income students are unlikely to be reached by traditional methods of informing students about their college opportunities since such methods require the students to be concentrated geographically. In this study, we use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate interventions that provide students with semi-customized information on the application process and colleges' net costs. The interventions also provide students with no-paperwork application fee waivers. The ECO Comprehensive (ECO-C) Intervention costs about $6 per student, and we find that it causes high-achieving, low-income students to apply and be admitted to more colleges, especially those with high graduation rates and generous instructional resources. The students respond to their enlarged opportunity sets by enrolling in colleges that have stronger academic records, higher graduation rates, and more generous resources. Their freshman grades are as good as the control students', despite the fact that the control students attend less selective colleges and therefore compete with peers whose incoming preparation is substantially inferior. Benefit-to-cost ratios for the ECO-C Intervention are extremely high, even under the most conservative assumptions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.; Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore; Duncan, Greg J.; Ludwig, Jens
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    This paper attempts to estimate the aggregate annual costs of child poverty to the US economy. It begins with a review of rigorous research studies that estimate the statistical association between children growing up in poverty and their earnings, propensity to commit crime, and quality of health later in life. We also review estimates of the costs that crime and poor health impose on the economy. Then we aggregate all of these average costs per poor child across the total number of children growing up in poverty in the United States to obtain our estimate of the aggregate costs of the conditions associated with childhood poverty to the US economy. Our results suggest that these costs total about $500 billion per year, or the equivalent of nearly 4% of gross domestic product (GDP). More specifically, we estimate that childhood poverty each year: (1) reduces productivity and economic output by an amount equal to 1.3% of GDP, (2) raises the costs of crime by 1.3% of GDP, and (3) raises health expenditures and reduces the value of health by 1.2% of GDP. (author abstract)

    ...

    This paper attempts to estimate the aggregate annual costs of child poverty to the US economy. It begins with a review of rigorous research studies that estimate the statistical association between children growing up in poverty and their earnings, propensity to commit crime, and quality of health later in life. We also review estimates of the costs that crime and poor health impose on the economy. Then we aggregate all of these average costs per poor child across the total number of children growing up in poverty in the United States to obtain our estimate of the aggregate costs of the conditions associated with childhood poverty to the US economy. Our results suggest that these costs total about $500 billion per year, or the equivalent of nearly 4% of gross domestic product (GDP). More specifically, we estimate that childhood poverty each year: (1) reduces productivity and economic output by an amount equal to 1.3% of GDP, (2) raises the costs of crime by 1.3% of GDP, and (3) raises health expenditures and reduces the value of health by 1.2% of GDP. (author abstract)

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

  • Individual Author: Thakuriah, Piyushimita; Persky, Joseph ; Soot, Slim; Sriraj, P.S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    This paper focuses on an evaluation of public transportation-based Employment Transportation (ET) services to transport low-wage workers to jobs in the US. We make an attempt to capture a more comprehensive range of intended and unintended outcomes of ET services than those traditionally considered in the case of public transportation services. Using primary data from 23 locations across the country, we present a framework to evaluate how transportation improvements, in interaction with labor markets, can affect users’ short-run economic welfare, users’ long-run human capital accumulation and non-users’ short-run economic welfare. These services were partially funded by a specialized program - the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program - which was consolidated into larger transit funding programs by recent legislation. In the sites examined, we found that low wage users benefitted from self-reported increased access to jobs, improvements in earnings potential, as well as from savings in transport cost and time. Simulations show the potential of users to accrue long-term...

    This paper focuses on an evaluation of public transportation-based Employment Transportation (ET) services to transport low-wage workers to jobs in the US. We make an attempt to capture a more comprehensive range of intended and unintended outcomes of ET services than those traditionally considered in the case of public transportation services. Using primary data from 23 locations across the country, we present a framework to evaluate how transportation improvements, in interaction with labor markets, can affect users’ short-run economic welfare, users’ long-run human capital accumulation and non-users’ short-run economic welfare. These services were partially funded by a specialized program - the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program - which was consolidated into larger transit funding programs by recent legislation. In the sites examined, we found that low wage users benefitted from self-reported increased access to jobs, improvements in earnings potential, as well as from savings in transport cost and time. Simulations show the potential of users to accrue long-term worklife benefits. At the same time, users may have accrued changes in leisure time as a result of transitioning from unemployment to employment, and generated a range of societal impacts on three classes of non-users: the general tax-paying public, the general commuting public in the service operating area and other low-wage workers in local labor markets. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mallon, Anthony J.; Stevens, Guy V. G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Policy makers often tout the finding that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families caseloads have shrunk by 50% or more since the passage of the 1996 welfare reform act (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act). Less well publicized is the economic fate of these “welfare leavers.” Extensive evidence shows that, despite the fact that as many as 60% exit with a full-time job, within a year or two approximately one half of all welfare leavers—and their children—fall into poverty. These findings predate the current severe recession; the economic status of current and past welfare leavers is undoubtedly much worse today. The proximate cause of this high rate of poverty is that welfare leavers end up working, on average, too few hours over the course of a year. Behind these low hours are the more fundamental causes of the measurable “barriers to work” limiting many leavers, and the limited supply of appropriate private-sector jobs, even during the so-called full-employment years of the late 1990s. In a search for solutions to this problem, this article examines...

    Policy makers often tout the finding that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families caseloads have shrunk by 50% or more since the passage of the 1996 welfare reform act (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act). Less well publicized is the economic fate of these “welfare leavers.” Extensive evidence shows that, despite the fact that as many as 60% exit with a full-time job, within a year or two approximately one half of all welfare leavers—and their children—fall into poverty. These findings predate the current severe recession; the economic status of current and past welfare leavers is undoubtedly much worse today. The proximate cause of this high rate of poverty is that welfare leavers end up working, on average, too few hours over the course of a year. Behind these low hours are the more fundamental causes of the measurable “barriers to work” limiting many leavers, and the limited supply of appropriate private-sector jobs, even during the so-called full-employment years of the late 1990s. In a search for solutions to this problem, this article examines the design, costs, and effects of a large number of job creation/welfare-to-work programs. Using these results, we propose a program of jobs of last resort called Promise of a Job (POJ). The authors outline the structure of POJ, provide costs estimates per participant and for its national implementation, and simulate its impact on poverty rates. Depending on assumptions such as the eligibility requirements and the rate at which participants are placed in full-time jobs, some simulations show dramatic reductions in the rates of adult and, especially, children's poverty. (author abstract)

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

  • Individual Author: Schochet, Peter Z.; Burghardt, John; McConnell, Sheena
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    This report is the final in a series of project reports presenting impact and benefit-cost findings from this large-scale random assignment evaluation of Job Corps. The report serves two main purposes. First, it presents an additional year of earnings impacts to those presented in the previous project report (Schochet and Burghardt 2005) and updates findings from the benefit-cost analysis. Second, it places the earnings impact findings in perspective, by providing a comprehensive summary of key study findings across all project reports. Thus, this selfcontained report pulls together and interprets the main evaluation results from the past twelve years. (author abstract)

    This report is the final in a series of project reports presenting impact and benefit-cost findings from this large-scale random assignment evaluation of Job Corps. The report serves two main purposes. First, it presents an additional year of earnings impacts to those presented in the previous project report (Schochet and Burghardt 2005) and updates findings from the benefit-cost analysis. Second, it places the earnings impact findings in perspective, by providing a comprehensive summary of key study findings across all project reports. Thus, this selfcontained report pulls together and interprets the main evaluation results from the past twelve years. (author abstract)

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