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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: Gould-Werth, Alix; Shaefer, H. Luke
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the major social insurance program that protects against lost earnings resulting from involuntary unemployment. Existing literature finds that low-earning unemployed workers experience difficulty accessing UI benefits. The most prominent policy reform designed to increase rates of monetary eligibility, and thus UI receipt, among these unemployed workers is the Alternative Base Period (ABP). In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sought to increase use of the ABP, making ABP adoption a necessary precondition for states to receive their share of the $7 billion targeted at UI programs. By January 2013, 40 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the ABP despite the absence of an evaluation of ABP efficacy using nationally representative data. This study analyzes Current Population Survey data from 1987 to 2011 to assess the efficacy of the ABP in increasing UI receipt among low-educated unemployed workers. We used a natural-experiment design to capture the combined behavioral and mechanical effects of the policy change. We found no...

    Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the major social insurance program that protects against lost earnings resulting from involuntary unemployment. Existing literature finds that low-earning unemployed workers experience difficulty accessing UI benefits. The most prominent policy reform designed to increase rates of monetary eligibility, and thus UI receipt, among these unemployed workers is the Alternative Base Period (ABP). In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sought to increase use of the ABP, making ABP adoption a necessary precondition for states to receive their share of the $7 billion targeted at UI programs. By January 2013, 40 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the ABP despite the absence of an evaluation of ABP efficacy using nationally representative data. This study analyzes Current Population Survey data from 1987 to 2011 to assess the efficacy of the ABP in increasing UI receipt among low-educated unemployed workers. We used a natural-experiment design to capture the combined behavioral and mechanical effects of the policy change. We found no association between state-level ABP adoption and individual UI receipt for all unemployed workers. However, among part-time unemployed workers with less than a high school degree, adoption of the ABP was associated with a 2.8 percentage point increase in the probability of UI receipt. (author abstract)

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

  • Individual Author: Warren, Lewis
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This paper provides the first nationally representative estimates of how unemployment insurance (UI) generosity in the United States affects the search intensity of unemployed individuals using individual level variation in UI generosity. The paper expands the current literature through fully simulating monetary eligibility and entitlement to unemployment insurance at the individual level where past studies have been unable to examine monetary eligibility and have relied on state variations in the maximum weekly benefit amount which can differ significantly from an individual’s actual benefit amount. To simulate monetary eligibility and entitlement, work histories of unemployed respondents were obtained through fully matching American Time Use Survey respondents to all of their observations in the Current Population Survey, the population from which they are drawn. The results suggest that higher replacement rates are associated with large reductions in time spent searching for a job during normal economic conditions. However, the results are more mitigated during the Great...

    This paper provides the first nationally representative estimates of how unemployment insurance (UI) generosity in the United States affects the search intensity of unemployed individuals using individual level variation in UI generosity. The paper expands the current literature through fully simulating monetary eligibility and entitlement to unemployment insurance at the individual level where past studies have been unable to examine monetary eligibility and have relied on state variations in the maximum weekly benefit amount which can differ significantly from an individual’s actual benefit amount. To simulate monetary eligibility and entitlement, work histories of unemployed respondents were obtained through fully matching American Time Use Survey respondents to all of their observations in the Current Population Survey, the population from which they are drawn. The results suggest that higher replacement rates are associated with large reductions in time spent searching for a job during normal economic conditions. However, the results are more mitigated during the Great Recession and post recession period with higher replacement rates being associated with small and statistically insignificant effects on time spent searching for a job, although these results appear to be partially driven by the years 2009 and 2010 which were at the height of the labor market decline. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shaefer, H. Luke
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    This article seeks to identify key programmatic barriers to access to Unemployment Insurance (UI) faced by two groups of disadvantaged workers in the United States: those in the lowest wage quintile, and part-time workers who are primary wage earners. Analyses use the 2001 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a nationally representative, longitudinal survey administered by the United States Census Bureau. Estimates of UI eligibility and receipt are presented for those who enter a spell of unemployment during the panel. Results suggest that a large majority of disadvantaged workers in the United States already meet UI earnings (monetary) requirements, and that barriers to access are more often the result of disadvantaged workers (1) assuming they are ineligible, or (2) not meeting non-monetary eligibility requirements because they voluntarily quit their job or were terminated for cause. Much of the focus in policy debates in the United States remains on reforming UI earnings requirements. If results presented in this article are correct, increasing UI...

    This article seeks to identify key programmatic barriers to access to Unemployment Insurance (UI) faced by two groups of disadvantaged workers in the United States: those in the lowest wage quintile, and part-time workers who are primary wage earners. Analyses use the 2001 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a nationally representative, longitudinal survey administered by the United States Census Bureau. Estimates of UI eligibility and receipt are presented for those who enter a spell of unemployment during the panel. Results suggest that a large majority of disadvantaged workers in the United States already meet UI earnings (monetary) requirements, and that barriers to access are more often the result of disadvantaged workers (1) assuming they are ineligible, or (2) not meeting non-monetary eligibility requirements because they voluntarily quit their job or were terminated for cause. Much of the focus in policy debates in the United States remains on reforming UI earnings requirements. If results presented in this article are correct, increasing UI access among disadvantaged workers will further require increasing rates of application through expanded knowledge about the programme among disadvantaged workers, and expanding (non-monetary) eligibility for job leavers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gould-Werth, Alix; Shaefer, H. Luke
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Among unemployed workers, the less educated and racial and ethnic minorities are less likely than the highly educated and White non-Hispanics to apply for and to receive unemployment insurance benefits; those who are less educated are also far more likely to perceive themselves as ineligible for benefits for monetary reasons. (author abstract)

    Among unemployed workers, the less educated and racial and ethnic minorities are less likely than the highly educated and White non-Hispanics to apply for and to receive unemployment insurance benefits; those who are less educated are also far more likely to perceive themselves as ineligible for benefits for monetary reasons. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Enchauteguai, Maria E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The unemployment insurance system is composed of state programs guided by broad federal principles, with funding and eligibility rules left to the states. The participation of employers injects a good deal of contentiousness and errors, while the principle of "no fault of their own" limits the eligibility of many workers who separate from their jobs for family and health reasons or because their temporary job ended. This system leaves many disadvantaged workers behind to the extent that only between 10 and 36 percent of unemployed workers with labor market disadvantages collected benefits in 2010, in comparison to 69 percent of non-disadvantaged workers. (author abstract)

    The unemployment insurance system is composed of state programs guided by broad federal principles, with funding and eligibility rules left to the states. The participation of employers injects a good deal of contentiousness and errors, while the principle of "no fault of their own" limits the eligibility of many workers who separate from their jobs for family and health reasons or because their temporary job ended. This system leaves many disadvantaged workers behind to the extent that only between 10 and 36 percent of unemployed workers with labor market disadvantages collected benefits in 2010, in comparison to 69 percent of non-disadvantaged workers. (author abstract)

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