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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: 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: Elliott, Diana; Thomas, Hannah; Wilson, Denise; Sattelmeyer, Sarah
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    Beginning with an overview of the measures and state of economic mobility in America, this session, moderated by Sarah Sattelmeyer (The Pew Charitable Trusts), will address three key questions related to mobility, specifically: Do all Americans enjoy equal opportunity at birth, regardless of the financial and economic status of their parents? What factors help propel someone up the economic ladder or push them down? What role should public policy play in promoting economic mobility?

    • Mobility and the Metropolis: How Communities Factor into Economic Mobility

    Diana Elliott (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

    • Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment

    Hannah Thomas (Brandeis University)

    • Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, But Not Others?

    Denise Wilson (Independent Contractor) (conference program description)

    These presentations were given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

    Beginning with an overview of the measures and state of economic mobility in America, this session, moderated by Sarah Sattelmeyer (The Pew Charitable Trusts), will address three key questions related to mobility, specifically: Do all Americans enjoy equal opportunity at birth, regardless of the financial and economic status of their parents? What factors help propel someone up the economic ladder or push them down? What role should public policy play in promoting economic mobility?

    • Mobility and the Metropolis: How Communities Factor into Economic Mobility

    Diana Elliott (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

    • Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment

    Hannah Thomas (Brandeis University)

    • Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, But Not Others?

    Denise Wilson (Independent Contractor) (conference program description)

    These presentations were given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

  • Individual Author: Wiedrich, Kasey; Griffin, Kate; Chilton, Mariana; Lehman, Gretchen
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    Studies show that low-income families are more likely to be unbanked and “underbanked” than families with higher earnings. Lacking a bank account or depending on alternative financial services leads to significant financial barriers for low-income families that hinder economic growth and social mobility. This session will evaluate strategies that local and state human services agencies are testing to equip TANF recipients with the financial knowledge and resources they need to overcome barriers to financial security, including ACF’s Asset Initiative Partnership. Gretchen Lehman (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session.

    • Financial Counseling and Financial Access for the Financially Vulnerable

    Kasey Wiedrich (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation examines financial management strategies among low-income families.  Two research studies are described: Children's HealthWatch and Witnesses to Hunger.

    • Building Economic Self-Sufficiency of TANF Clients Through Financial Education and Matched Savings

    ...

    Studies show that low-income families are more likely to be unbanked and “underbanked” than families with higher earnings. Lacking a bank account or depending on alternative financial services leads to significant financial barriers for low-income families that hinder economic growth and social mobility. This session will evaluate strategies that local and state human services agencies are testing to equip TANF recipients with the financial knowledge and resources they need to overcome barriers to financial security, including ACF’s Asset Initiative Partnership. Gretchen Lehman (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session.

    • Financial Counseling and Financial Access for the Financially Vulnerable

    Kasey Wiedrich (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation examines financial management strategies among low-income families.  Two research studies are described: Children's HealthWatch and Witnesses to Hunger.

    • Building Economic Self-Sufficiency of TANF Clients Through Financial Education and Matched Savings

    Kate Griffin (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation describes data from a financial education program for TANF recipients that provides training in budgeting and credit management.  The pilot was started in July 2013 with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

    • Financial Management Strategies of TANF and SNAP Recipients: Lessons for Policy Makers and Administrators

    Mariana Chilton (Drexel University)

    The presentation describes a completed research project that looks at the impact of the AFCO financial counseling program for families leaving TANF and entering into a work-ready context.

    These presentations were given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

  • Individual Author: Okech, David
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study examines the independent effects of socio-demographic variables and program social services on the degree of economic strain among lower income parents who had an opportunity to open child savings in a subsidized savings accounts program known as Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED). SEED is a policy, practice and research initiative designed to test the efficacy of and inform policy for a national system of asset-building accounts for children and youth. Findings suggest that overall, the degree of economic strain was not significantly different at baseline and at the second wave between parents who opened accounts and those who did not open accounts for their children. However, household income, having a household savings account, and receipt of means-tested welfare programs affected the degrees of economic strain. Implications are directed toward helping lower income families effectively participate in child savings programs. (author abstract)

    This study examines the independent effects of socio-demographic variables and program social services on the degree of economic strain among lower income parents who had an opportunity to open child savings in a subsidized savings accounts program known as Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED). SEED is a policy, practice and research initiative designed to test the efficacy of and inform policy for a national system of asset-building accounts for children and youth. Findings suggest that overall, the degree of economic strain was not significantly different at baseline and at the second wave between parents who opened accounts and those who did not open accounts for their children. However, household income, having a household savings account, and receipt of means-tested welfare programs affected the degrees of economic strain. Implications are directed toward helping lower income families effectively participate in child savings programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dorn, Stan; Lower-Basch, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Currently, millions of needy individuals and families do not receive some or all of the benefits for which they are eligible. In many cases, this is due to the complicated and burdensome processes involved in demonstrating that an applicant has met all eligibility requirements and in recertifying this information on a regular basis. Written for the Coalition for Access and Opportunity, this paper illustrates how sharing data and basing eligibility decisions on existing information can cut administrative costs, help more families in need of assistance access benefits and strengthen programs.  (author abstract)

    Currently, millions of needy individuals and families do not receive some or all of the benefits for which they are eligible. In many cases, this is due to the complicated and burdensome processes involved in demonstrating that an applicant has met all eligibility requirements and in recertifying this information on a regular basis. Written for the Coalition for Access and Opportunity, this paper illustrates how sharing data and basing eligibility decisions on existing information can cut administrative costs, help more families in need of assistance access benefits and strengthen programs.  (author abstract)

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