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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 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: Reichman, Nancy; Teitler, Julien; Curtis, Marah
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    This article estimates the effects of being sanctioned, that is, of being subject to a governmental decision to reduce or eliminate welfare benefits, on material hardships and health among mothers on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and their children. Compared to nonsanctioned mothers, those who are sanctioned are at high risk for hunger, homelessness or eviction, utility shutoffs, inadequate medical care, any material hardship, poor health, and relying on family or friends for housing. Results suggest a causal connection to hunger, utility shutoffs, any material hardship, poor maternal physical health, and relying on others for housing. (author abstract)

    This article estimates the effects of being sanctioned, that is, of being subject to a governmental decision to reduce or eliminate welfare benefits, on material hardships and health among mothers on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and their children. Compared to nonsanctioned mothers, those who are sanctioned are at high risk for hunger, homelessness or eviction, utility shutoffs, inadequate medical care, any material hardship, poor health, and relying on family or friends for housing. Results suggest a causal connection to hunger, utility shutoffs, any material hardship, poor maternal physical health, and relying on others for housing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lens, Vicki
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    Whether sanctions help women achieve self-sufficiency in the labor market is a subject of scholarly debate. Central to this discussion is how sanctions are being used on the front-lines of welfare, and how recipients are responding to them. This article reports the findings of the author’s empirical study of the sanctioning process in two regions in Texas: one primarily rural and the other urban/suburban. It examines how and when sanctions are imposed by local staff in welfare offices and what problems recipients encounter when they attempt to comply with the work rules and avoid sanctions. Using this and other empirical studies on sanctions, this article examines whether sanctions are helping poor women achieve self-sufficiency.

    Part I of this article discusses the history of work rules in public assistance programs. Part II examines the use of sanctions in welfare-to-work programs, drawing extensively on the empirical literature describing the rates of sanction, the characteristics of sanctioned families, and whether sanctions induce hardship. Part III reports on the...

    Whether sanctions help women achieve self-sufficiency in the labor market is a subject of scholarly debate. Central to this discussion is how sanctions are being used on the front-lines of welfare, and how recipients are responding to them. This article reports the findings of the author’s empirical study of the sanctioning process in two regions in Texas: one primarily rural and the other urban/suburban. It examines how and when sanctions are imposed by local staff in welfare offices and what problems recipients encounter when they attempt to comply with the work rules and avoid sanctions. Using this and other empirical studies on sanctions, this article examines whether sanctions are helping poor women achieve self-sufficiency.

    Part I of this article discusses the history of work rules in public assistance programs. Part II examines the use of sanctions in welfare-to-work programs, drawing extensively on the empirical literature describing the rates of sanction, the characteristics of sanctioned families, and whether sanctions induce hardship. Part III reports on the results of the study. Part IV evaluates whether sanctions are an appropriate tool for addressing the problem of poverty and welfare dependency among poor women and their families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fording, Richard; Schram, Sanford; Soss, Joe
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This article examines the effects of financial sanctions for noncompliance on the earnings of TANF clients. Current research on TANF sanctioning is descriptive, and few studies estimate the effect of sanctions on client outcomes. To estimate the casual effect of sanctioning, we utilize longitudinal data from Florida and a difference-in-difference propensity-score matching estimator. We compare the growth in earnings of sanctioned clients to a comparable sample of nonsanctioned clients four quarters after exiting TANF and find that sanctioning has a statistically significant negative effect on earnings among TANF clients. The effect is consistent across racial groups, larger among clients with at least 12 years of schooling, and generally increases with the frequency of sanctioning. The finding that sanctioned clients exhibit significantly lower growth in earnings than similar nonsanctioned clients suggests that sanctioning may serve to undermine TANF's goals of reducing welfare use and improving earnings in severely disadvantaged families. (author abstract)

    This article examines the effects of financial sanctions for noncompliance on the earnings of TANF clients. Current research on TANF sanctioning is descriptive, and few studies estimate the effect of sanctions on client outcomes. To estimate the casual effect of sanctioning, we utilize longitudinal data from Florida and a difference-in-difference propensity-score matching estimator. We compare the growth in earnings of sanctioned clients to a comparable sample of nonsanctioned clients four quarters after exiting TANF and find that sanctioning has a statistically significant negative effect on earnings among TANF clients. The effect is consistent across racial groups, larger among clients with at least 12 years of schooling, and generally increases with the frequency of sanctioning. The finding that sanctioned clients exhibit significantly lower growth in earnings than similar nonsanctioned clients suggests that sanctioning may serve to undermine TANF's goals of reducing welfare use and improving earnings in severely disadvantaged families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wu, Chi-Fang; Cancian, Maria ; Meyer, Daniel ; Joo Lee, Bong; Slack, Kristen; Lewis, Dan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    Existing research concerning sanctions, mostly based upon cross-sectional studies of those leaving welfare, suggests that sanctioned families resemble long-time welfare recipients in a number of respects. They are more disadvantaged than even the average welfare recipient— younger, less educated, less likely to live with a partner and more likely to have been in an abusive relationship in the past year. They are more likely to have grown up in a welfare-receiving family or to have health problems or children with health problems. As a group, they are more likely to have immediate practical disadvantages also— higher levels of financial strain, as evidenced by utility cutoffs, no car, or no telephone service.

    The two projects summarized here broke new ground in the study of sanctions. Both made use of longitudinal data. Chi-Fang Wu, Maria Cancian, and Daniel R. Meyer used administrative data from Wisconsin to examine the dynamic patterns of sanctioning (their severity, timing, and duration), the factors associated with being sanctioned, and the relationship between...

    Existing research concerning sanctions, mostly based upon cross-sectional studies of those leaving welfare, suggests that sanctioned families resemble long-time welfare recipients in a number of respects. They are more disadvantaged than even the average welfare recipient— younger, less educated, less likely to live with a partner and more likely to have been in an abusive relationship in the past year. They are more likely to have grown up in a welfare-receiving family or to have health problems or children with health problems. As a group, they are more likely to have immediate practical disadvantages also— higher levels of financial strain, as evidenced by utility cutoffs, no car, or no telephone service.

    The two projects summarized here broke new ground in the study of sanctions. Both made use of longitudinal data. Chi-Fang Wu, Maria Cancian, and Daniel R. Meyer used administrative data from Wisconsin to examine the dynamic patterns of sanctioning (their severity, timing, and duration), the factors associated with being sanctioned, and the relationship between sanctions and subsequent welfare outcomes for sanctioned women. Bong Joo Lee, Kristen Shook Slack, and Dan A. Lewis used survey and administrative data from the Illinois Families Study (IFS) to examine whether and how welfare sanctions are associated with work activity, levels of earnings, welfare receipt, and material hardships among TANF recipients. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Gueron, Judith; Pauly, Edward
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1991

    From Welfare to Work appears at a critical moment, when all fifty states are wrestling with tough budgetary and program choices as they implement the new federal welfare reforms. This book is a definitive analysis of the landmark social research that has directly informed those choices: the rigorous evaluation of programs designed to help welfare recipients become employed and self-sufficient. It discusses forty-five past and current studies, focusing on the series of seminal evaluations conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation over the last fifteen years.

    Which of these welfare-to-work programs have worked? For whom and at what cost? In answering these key questions, the authors clearly delineate the trade-offs facing policymakers as they strive to achieve the multiple goals of alleviating poverty, helping the most disadvantaged, curtailing dependence, and effecting welfare savings. The authors present compelling evidence that the generally low-cost, primarily job search-oriented programs of the late 1980s achieved sustained earnings gains and welfare...

    From Welfare to Work appears at a critical moment, when all fifty states are wrestling with tough budgetary and program choices as they implement the new federal welfare reforms. This book is a definitive analysis of the landmark social research that has directly informed those choices: the rigorous evaluation of programs designed to help welfare recipients become employed and self-sufficient. It discusses forty-five past and current studies, focusing on the series of seminal evaluations conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation over the last fifteen years.

    Which of these welfare-to-work programs have worked? For whom and at what cost? In answering these key questions, the authors clearly delineate the trade-offs facing policymakers as they strive to achieve the multiple goals of alleviating poverty, helping the most disadvantaged, curtailing dependence, and effecting welfare savings. The authors present compelling evidence that the generally low-cost, primarily job search-oriented programs of the late 1980s achieved sustained earnings gains and welfare savings. However, getting people out of poverty and helping those who are most disadvantaged may require some intensive, higher-cost services such as education and training. The authors explore a range of studies now in progress that will address these and other urgent issues. They also point to encouraging results from programs that were operating in San Diego and Baltimore, which suggest the potential value of a mixed strategy: combining job search and other low-cost activities for a broad portion of the caseload with more specialized services for smaller groups.

    Offering both an authoritative synthesis of work already done and recommendations for future innovation, From Welfare to Work will be the standard resource and required reading for practitioners and students in the social policy, social welfare, and academic communities. (author abstract) 

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