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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Lower-Basch, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2011

    The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) was created in 1996 and has been modified and extended repeatedly since. A separate but similar credit for long-term welfare recipients was consolidated with the WOTC in 2006. Recent program expansions have caused the annual cost of this credit to exceed $1 billion in recent years. WOTC is not designed to promote net job creation, and there is no evidence that it does so. The program is designed to encourage employers to increase hiring of members of certain disadvantaged groups, but studies have found that it has little effect on hiring choices or retention; it may have modest positive effects on the earnings of qualifying workers at participating firms. Most of the benefit of the credit appears to go to large firms in high turnover, lowwage industries, many of whom use intermediaries to identify eligible workers and complete required paperwork. These findings suggest very high levels of windfall costs, in which employers receive the tax credit for hiring workers whom they would have hired in the absence of the credit. (author introduction...

    The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) was created in 1996 and has been modified and extended repeatedly since. A separate but similar credit for long-term welfare recipients was consolidated with the WOTC in 2006. Recent program expansions have caused the annual cost of this credit to exceed $1 billion in recent years. WOTC is not designed to promote net job creation, and there is no evidence that it does so. The program is designed to encourage employers to increase hiring of members of certain disadvantaged groups, but studies have found that it has little effect on hiring choices or retention; it may have modest positive effects on the earnings of qualifying workers at participating firms. Most of the benefit of the credit appears to go to large firms in high turnover, lowwage industries, many of whom use intermediaries to identify eligible workers and complete required paperwork. These findings suggest very high levels of windfall costs, in which employers receive the tax credit for hiring workers whom they would have hired in the absence of the credit. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Card, David ; Robins, Philip K. ; Mijanovich, Tod ; Lin, Winston
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This report presents an analysis of the early impacts of the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) on employment, earnings, and welfare receipt. (author abstract)

    This report presents an analysis of the early impacts of the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) on employment, earnings, and welfare receipt. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Social Research and Demonstration Corporation
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This report summarizes the early findings from the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), including lessons learned from implementing the project, from focus groups held with participants, and from an examination of the program’s effects on employment, earnings, and income assistance receipt in the first 18 months after random assignment. (author abstract)

    This report summarizes the early findings from the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), including lessons learned from implementing the project, from focus groups held with participants, and from an examination of the program’s effects on employment, earnings, and income assistance receipt in the first 18 months after random assignment. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Card, David; Robins, Philip K. ; Lin, Winston
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    This working paper presents findings from an evaluation of “entry effects” associated with the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) and considers whether the availability of the supplement may have led some single parents to alter their behaviour to become eligible for SSP. (author abstract)

    This working paper presents findings from an evaluation of “entry effects” associated with the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) and considers whether the availability of the supplement may have led some single parents to alter their behaviour to become eligible for SSP. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lin, Winston; Robins, Phillip K.; Card, David; Harknett, Kristen; Lui-Gurr, Susanna; Pan, Elsie C.; Mijanovich, Tod; Quets, Gail; Villeneuve, Patrick
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Proponents of welfare reform have struggled for nearly three decades to design programs that would increase work, reduce poverty, and reduce dependence on welfare. Initiatives to increase work have reduced welfare dependence, but have often had little effect on poverty. Initiatives that reduce poverty by providing more income have made recipients better off financially, but have discouraged work. In an effort to address all three of these welfare reform objectives, the Canadian government is testing a new approach. The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) is a research and demonstration project that offers an earnings supplement to welfare recipients who leave welfare for full-time work. The primary objectives of SSP are to increase economic self-sufficiency through work and to reduce welfare dependence. A secondary objective is to reduce poverty.

    Conceived and funded by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and managed by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), SSP offers a temporary earnings supplement to selected single-parent families receiving Income...

    Proponents of welfare reform have struggled for nearly three decades to design programs that would increase work, reduce poverty, and reduce dependence on welfare. Initiatives to increase work have reduced welfare dependence, but have often had little effect on poverty. Initiatives that reduce poverty by providing more income have made recipients better off financially, but have discouraged work. In an effort to address all three of these welfare reform objectives, the Canadian government is testing a new approach. The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) is a research and demonstration project that offers an earnings supplement to welfare recipients who leave welfare for full-time work. The primary objectives of SSP are to increase economic self-sufficiency through work and to reduce welfare dependence. A secondary objective is to reduce poverty.

    Conceived and funded by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and managed by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), SSP offers a temporary earnings supplement to selected single-parent families receiving Income Assistance (welfare) in British Columbia and New Brunswick. To collect the supplement (a monthly cash payment based on actual earnings), a single parent must work full-time and leave Income Assistance. She can then receive the supplement for up to three years, as long as she continues to work full-time and remains off Income Assistance.

    The supplement roughly doubles the earnings of many low-wage workers (before taxes and work-related expenses). SSP addresses a dilemma faced by many welfare recipients: Although they are troubled by their continuing dependence on welfare, work is not a financially attractive alternative, because entry-level wages are too low to make them better off than they would be if they were receiving Income Assistance. Nor would combining work and welfare raise their incomes significantly, because Income Assistance benefits are reduced by nearly the amount they earn. This situation discourages welfare recipients from obtaining jobs and leaving welfare, and many of those who do leave welfare for work eventually return to welfare. By offering a substantial, temporary supplement to earnings, SSP provides an incentive for welfare recipients to enter the full-time labour force and acquire work experience that may eventually lead to higher earnings and economic self-sufficiency.

    In developing this initiative, HRDC recognized the importance of testing the program prior to larger-scale implementation, since substantial program costs were at stake and, in times of tight budgets, the cost of a new program could be justified only if the program had significant benefits. Because many people leave welfare for work on their own, it was not known whether an earnings supplement program would lead to a significant increase in overall work effort above the level of employment that would have been reached without such a program. HRDC therefore decided to test the efficacy of an earnings supplement The feminine pronoun is used throughout this report because the vast majority of single parents receiving Income Assistance are women program under real-world operating conditions, using a random assignment evaluation design.

    Between November 1992 and March 1995, more than 6,000 single parents who were long-term Income Assistance recipients were invited to join the SSP research study. Each of those who accepted was assigned at random to one of two groups: Members of the program group were given the opportunity to participate in the earnings supplement program; members of the control group were not. Because the two groups are similar in all respects except whether they were allowed to participate in the program, the “impact” or effect of SSP can be measured by the difference between the program and control groups’ subsequent experiences. This report examines SSP’s impacts on employment, earnings, Income Assistance receipt, family incomes, poverty, and living conditions during the first 18 months after random assignment (that is, after sample members were randomly assigned to the program and control groups). (author abstract)

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