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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: Kneebone, Elizabeth; Berube, Alan
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2013

    Kneebone and Berube paint a new picture of poverty in America as well as the best ways to combat it. Confronting Suburban Poverty in America offers a series of workable recommendations for public, private, and nonprofit leaders seeking to modernize poverty alleviation and community development strategies and connect residents with economic opportunity. The authors highlight efforts in metro areas where local leaders are learning how to do more with less and adjusting their approaches to address the metropolitan scale of poverty —for example, integrating services and service delivery, collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions, and using data-driven and flexible funding strategies. (author abstract)

    Kneebone and Berube paint a new picture of poverty in America as well as the best ways to combat it. Confronting Suburban Poverty in America offers a series of workable recommendations for public, private, and nonprofit leaders seeking to modernize poverty alleviation and community development strategies and connect residents with economic opportunity. The authors highlight efforts in metro areas where local leaders are learning how to do more with less and adjusting their approaches to address the metropolitan scale of poverty —for example, integrating services and service delivery, collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions, and using data-driven and flexible funding strategies. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Aguiar, Marcelo; Araújo, Carlos Henrique
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This study provides an overview of Brazil’s Bolsa Escola (now Bolsa Família), a CCT program that targets extremely poor families.  It includes an extensive discussion of the history of the Brazilian government’s role in combating poverty, as well as differences between poverty in First World and peripheral countries.  It also highlights the complexities of defining, distinguishing and addressing poverty, inequality, and social exclusion.  The study documents the social and political context, history, and outcomes of Bolsa Escola.  Qualitative and quantitative evaluation results show that the program has been successful in keeping children in school, decreasing child labor, improving child nutrition, and enabling families to save money to improve their standard of living.  It has also empowered women who receive the payments to have more influence in making decisions within a household. (SSRC abstract)

    This study provides an overview of Brazil’s Bolsa Escola (now Bolsa Família), a CCT program that targets extremely poor families.  It includes an extensive discussion of the history of the Brazilian government’s role in combating poverty, as well as differences between poverty in First World and peripheral countries.  It also highlights the complexities of defining, distinguishing and addressing poverty, inequality, and social exclusion.  The study documents the social and political context, history, and outcomes of Bolsa Escola.  Qualitative and quantitative evaluation results show that the program has been successful in keeping children in school, decreasing child labor, improving child nutrition, and enabling families to save money to improve their standard of living.  It has also empowered women who receive the payments to have more influence in making decisions within a household. (SSRC abstract)

  • Individual Author: Danziger, Sheldon H.; Haveman, Robert H.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2002

    In spite of an unprecedented period of growth and prosperity, the poverty rate in the United States remains high relative to the levels of the early 1970s and relative to those in many industrialized countries today. Understanding Poverty brings the problem of poverty in America to the fore, focusing on its nature and extent at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

    Looking back over the four decades since the nation declared war on poverty, the authors ask how the poor have fared in the market economy, what government programs have and have not accomplished, and what remains to be done. They help us understand how changes in the way the labor market operates, in family structure, and in social welfare, health, and education policies have affected trends in poverty. Most significantly, they offer suggestions for changes in programs and policies that hold real promise for reducing poverty and income inequality. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents:

    I - Trends and Determinants of Poverty, Inequality, and Mobility

      ...

    In spite of an unprecedented period of growth and prosperity, the poverty rate in the United States remains high relative to the levels of the early 1970s and relative to those in many industrialized countries today. Understanding Poverty brings the problem of poverty in America to the fore, focusing on its nature and extent at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

    Looking back over the four decades since the nation declared war on poverty, the authors ask how the poor have fared in the market economy, what government programs have and have not accomplished, and what remains to be done. They help us understand how changes in the way the labor market operates, in family structure, and in social welfare, health, and education policies have affected trends in poverty. Most significantly, they offer suggestions for changes in programs and policies that hold real promise for reducing poverty and income inequality. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents:

    I - Trends and Determinants of Poverty, Inequality, and Mobility

    • Chapter 1: The Level, Trend, and Composition of Poverty – Gary Burtless and Timothy M. Smeeding
    • Chapter 2: Changes in Family Structure: Implications for Poverty and Related Policy – Maria Cancian and Deborah Reed
    • Chapter 3: The Rising Tide Lifts…? – Richard B. Freeman
    • Chapter 4: Mobility, Persistence, and the Consequences of Poverty for Children: Child and Adult Outcomes – Mary Corcoran
    • Chapter 5: U.S. Poverty in a Cross-national Context – Timothy M. Smeeding, Lee Rainwater, and Gary Burtless

    II – The Evolution of Antipoverty Policies

    • Chapter 6: The Evolution of Income Support Policy in Recent Decades – John Karl Scholz and Kara Levine
    • Chapter 7: Welfare Policy in Transition: Redefining the Social Contract for Poor Citizen Families with Children and for Immigrants – LaDonna A. Pavetti
    • Chapter 8: Health Policies for the Non-elderly Poor – John Mullahy and Barbara L. Wolfe
    • Chapter 9: Investing in the Future: Reducing Poverty Through Human Capital Investments – Lynn A. Karoly

    III – Neighborhoods, Groups, and Communities

    • Chapter 10: Housing Discrimination and Residential Segregation as Causes of Poverty – John Yinger
    • Chapter 11: The Memberships Theory of Poverty: The Role of Group Affiliations in Determining Socioeconomic Outcomes – Steven N. Durlauf
    • Chapter 12: Community Revitalization, Jobs, and the Well-being of the Inner-City Poor – Ronald F. Ferguson

    IV – Concluding Thoughts

    • Chapter 13: Politics, Race, and Poverty Research – Glenn C. Loury
    • Chapter 14: Poverty Research and Antipoverty Policy After the Technological Revolution – David R. Harris
    • Chapter 15: Research on Poverty and Antipoverty Policies – Jane Waldfogel
  • Individual Author: Mead, Lawrence
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2005

    "Good government" is commonly seen either as a formidable challenge, a distant dream, or an oxymoron, and yet it is the reason why Wisconsin led America toward welfare reform. In this book, Lawrence Mead shows in depth what the Badger State did and--just as important--how it was done. Wisconsin's welfare reform was the most radical in the country, and it began far earlier than that in most other states. It was the achievement of legislators and administrators who were unusually high-minded and effective by national standards. Their decade-long struggle to overhaul welfare is a gripping story that inspires hope for better solutions to poverty nationwide.

    Mead shows that Wisconsin succeeded--not just because it did the right things, but because its government was unusually masterful. Politicians collaborated across partisan lines, and administrators showed initiative and creativity in revamping welfare. Although Wisconsin erred at some points, it achieved promising policies, which then had good outcomes in terms of higher employment and reduced dependency. Mead also shows...

    "Good government" is commonly seen either as a formidable challenge, a distant dream, or an oxymoron, and yet it is the reason why Wisconsin led America toward welfare reform. In this book, Lawrence Mead shows in depth what the Badger State did and--just as important--how it was done. Wisconsin's welfare reform was the most radical in the country, and it began far earlier than that in most other states. It was the achievement of legislators and administrators who were unusually high-minded and effective by national standards. Their decade-long struggle to overhaul welfare is a gripping story that inspires hope for better solutions to poverty nationwide.

    Mead shows that Wisconsin succeeded--not just because it did the right things, but because its government was unusually masterful. Politicians collaborated across partisan lines, and administrators showed initiative and creativity in revamping welfare. Although Wisconsin erred at some points, it achieved promising policies, which then had good outcomes in terms of higher employment and reduced dependency. Mead also shows that these lessons hold nationally. It is states with strong good-government traditions, such as Wisconsin, that typically have implemented welfare reform best. Thus, solutions to poverty must finally look past policies and programs to the capacities of government itself. Although governmental quality is uneven across the states, it is also improving, and that bodes well for better antipoverty policies in the future. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grusky, David B.; Western, Bruce; Wimer, Christopher
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2011

    Officially over in 2009, the Great Recession is now generally acknowledged to be the most devastating global economic crisis since the Great Depression. As a result of the crisis, the United States lost more than 7.5 million jobs, and the unemployment rate doubled—peaking at more than 10 percent. The collapse of the housing market and subsequent equity market fluctuations delivered a one-two punch that destroyed trillions of dollars in personal wealth and made many Americans far less financially secure. Still reeling from these early shocks, the U.S. economy will undoubtedly take years to recover. Less clear, however, are the social effects of such economic hardship on a U.S. population accustomed to long periods of prosperity. How are Americans responding to these hard times? The Great Recession is the first authoritative assessment of how the aftershocks of the recession are affecting individuals and families, jobs, earnings and poverty, political and social attitudes, lifestyle and consumption practices, and charitable giving.

    Focused on individual-level effects rather...

    Officially over in 2009, the Great Recession is now generally acknowledged to be the most devastating global economic crisis since the Great Depression. As a result of the crisis, the United States lost more than 7.5 million jobs, and the unemployment rate doubled—peaking at more than 10 percent. The collapse of the housing market and subsequent equity market fluctuations delivered a one-two punch that destroyed trillions of dollars in personal wealth and made many Americans far less financially secure. Still reeling from these early shocks, the U.S. economy will undoubtedly take years to recover. Less clear, however, are the social effects of such economic hardship on a U.S. population accustomed to long periods of prosperity. How are Americans responding to these hard times? The Great Recession is the first authoritative assessment of how the aftershocks of the recession are affecting individuals and families, jobs, earnings and poverty, political and social attitudes, lifestyle and consumption practices, and charitable giving.

    Focused on individual-level effects rather than institutional causes, The Great Recession turns to leading experts to examine whether the economic aftermath caused by the recession is transforming how Americans live their lives, what they believe in, and the institutions they rely on. Contributors Michael Hout, Asaf Levanon, and Erin Cumberworth show how job loss during the recession—the worst since the 1980s—hit less-educated workers, men, immigrants, and factory and construction workers the hardest. Millions of lost industrial jobs are likely never to be recovered and where new jobs are appearing, they tend to be either high-skill positions or low-wage employment—offering few opportunities for the middle-class. Edward Wolff, Lindsay Owens, and Esra Burak examine the effects of the recession on housing and wealth for the very poor and the very rich. They find that while the richest Americans experienced the greatest absolute wealth loss, their resources enabled them to weather the crisis better than the young families, African Americans, and the middle class, who experienced the most disproportionate loss—including mortgage delinquencies, home foreclosures, and personal bankruptcies. Lane Kenworthy and Lindsay Owens ask whether this recession is producing enduring shifts in public opinion akin to those that followed the Great Depression. Surprisingly, they find no evidence of recession-induced attitude changes toward corporations, the government, perceptions of social justice, or policies aimed at aiding the poor. Similarly, Philip Morgan, Erin Cumberworth, and Christopher Wimer find no major recession effects on marriage, divorce, or cohabitation rates. They do find a decline in fertility rates, as well as increasing numbers of adult children returning home to the family nest—evidence that suggests deep pessimism about recovery.

    This protracted slump—marked by steep unemployment, profound destruction of wealth, and sluggish consumer activity—will likely continue for years to come, and more pronounced effects may surface down the road. The contributors note that, to date, this crisis has not yet generated broad shifts in lifestyle and attitudes. But by clarifying how the recession’s early impacts have—and have not—influenced our current economic and social landscape, The Great Recession establishes an important benchmark against which to measure future change. (author abstract) 

    Table of Contents:

    Part I - Introduction

    Chapter 1: The Consequences of the Great Recession - David B. Grusky, Bruce Western, and Christopher Wimer

    Chapter 2: The Roots of the Great Recession - Neil Fligstein and Adam Goldstein

    Part II - Economic Effects: The Labor Market, Income and Poverty, and Wealth and Housing

    Chapter 3: Job Loss and Unemployment - Michael Hout, Asaf Levanon, and Erin Cumberworth

    Chapter 4: Poverty and Income Inequality in the Early Stages of the Great Recession - Timothy M. Smeeding, Jeffrey P. Thompson, Asaf Levanon, and Esra Burak

    Chapter 5: How Much Wealth Was Destroyed in the Great Recession? - Edward N. Wolff, Lindsay A. Owens, and Esra Burak

    Part III - Social Effects: Consumption, Attitudes, and Family

    Chapter 6: An Analysis of Trends, Perceptions, and Distributional Effects in Consumption - Ivaylo D. Petev, Luigi Pistaferri, and Itay Saporta-Eksten

    Chapter 7: The Surprisingly Weak Effect of Recessions on Public Opinion - Lane Kenworthy and Lindsay A. Owens

    Chapter 8: The Great Recession’s Influence on Fertility, Marriage, Divorce, and Cohabitation - S. Philip Morgan, Erin Cumberworth, and Christopher Wimer

    Part IV - The Collective Response: The Government and Charitable Giving

    Chapter 9: The Federal Stimulus Programs and Their Effects - Gary Burtless and Tracy Gordon

    Chapter 10: Has the Great Recession Made Americans Stingier? - Rob Reich, Christopher Wimer, Shazad Mohamed, and Sharada Jambulapati

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