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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: Shaefer, H. Luke; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study documents an increase in the prevalence of extreme poverty among US households with children between 1996 and 2011 and assesses the response of major federal means-tested transfer programs. Extreme poverty is defined using a World Bank metric of global poverty: $2 or less, per person, per day. Using the 1996–2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP, we estimate that in mid-2011, 1.65 million households with 3.55 million children were living in extreme poverty in a given month, based on cash income, constituting 4.3 percent of all nonelderly households with children. The prevalence of extreme poverty has risen sharply since 1996, particularly among those most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. Adding SNAP benefits to household income reduces the number of extremely poor households with children by 48.0 percent in mid-2011. Adding SNAP, refundable tax credits, and housing subsidies reduces it by 62.8 percent. (Author abstract)

    This article is based on a...

    This study documents an increase in the prevalence of extreme poverty among US households with children between 1996 and 2011 and assesses the response of major federal means-tested transfer programs. Extreme poverty is defined using a World Bank metric of global poverty: $2 or less, per person, per day. Using the 1996–2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP, we estimate that in mid-2011, 1.65 million households with 3.55 million children were living in extreme poverty in a given month, based on cash income, constituting 4.3 percent of all nonelderly households with children. The prevalence of extreme poverty has risen sharply since 1996, particularly among those most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. Adding SNAP benefits to household income reduces the number of extremely poor households with children by 48.0 percent in mid-2011. Adding SNAP, refundable tax credits, and housing subsidies reduces it by 62.8 percent. (Author abstract)

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

  • Individual Author: Ho, Christine
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    We analyse the impact of the early 1990s welfare waivers and the 1996 TANF reform in the United States on at-risk mothers' labour supply behaviour using the PSID. We find that whereas the welfare waivers had limited impacts on at-risk mothers, the TANF reform played an important role in encouraging those mothers to increase their labour supply at the intensive margin. (author abstract) 

    We analyse the impact of the early 1990s welfare waivers and the 1996 TANF reform in the United States on at-risk mothers' labour supply behaviour using the PSID. We find that whereas the welfare waivers had limited impacts on at-risk mothers, the TANF reform played an important role in encouraging those mothers to increase their labour supply at the intensive margin. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Denk, Oliver; Hagemann, Robert P.; Lenain, Patrick; Somma, Valentin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Income inequality and relative poverty in the United States are among the highest in the OECD and have substantially increased over the past decades. These developments have been associated with a number of other worrying statistics, including low intergenerational social mobility and weak real income growth for many households. A more inclusive pattern of growth would require less pronounced gaps in outcomes and opportunities across social groups and a broader sharing of the benefits of growth. The present paper analyses the causes of US income inequality and relative poverty in an OECD context, especially the role of the tax-and-transfer system, and suggests public policies to promote inclusive growth. To a significant degree, high income inequality is attributable to the large dispersion of earned income, which should be addressed by reforming education, so as to provide disadvantaged students with the skills needed to fully realise their potential. In addition, taxes and transfers contribute less to income redistribution than in other OECD countries. If well designed, reforms...

    Income inequality and relative poverty in the United States are among the highest in the OECD and have substantially increased over the past decades. These developments have been associated with a number of other worrying statistics, including low intergenerational social mobility and weak real income growth for many households. A more inclusive pattern of growth would require less pronounced gaps in outcomes and opportunities across social groups and a broader sharing of the benefits of growth. The present paper analyses the causes of US income inequality and relative poverty in an OECD context, especially the role of the tax-and-transfer system, and suggests public policies to promote inclusive growth. To a significant degree, high income inequality is attributable to the large dispersion of earned income, which should be addressed by reforming education, so as to provide disadvantaged students with the skills needed to fully realise their potential. In addition, taxes and transfers contribute less to income redistribution than in other OECD countries. If well designed, reforms that promote inclusive growth could also help reduce the market distortions resulting from the current tax-and-transfer system. In particular, phasing out personal and corporate tax expenditures that disproportionately benefit high earners would lower income inequality and improve resource allocation. As well, social transfers could be more effective in alleviating poverty through better targeting of the truly needy while reducing administrative complexity. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hoover, Gary A.; Yaya, Mehmet E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    In this study, the authors investigate the income inequality responses of Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics in the United States to the income maintenance program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) using cross sections of state-level data. The results show that this program indeed reduces income inequality but the impacts are not uniform across racial/ethnic groups. Specifically, the authors find that Blacks have results that differ from those of the other two groups or those of the United States as a whole. These results are robust when using either the Gini or Theil measure of inequality. (Author abstract)

    In this study, the authors investigate the income inequality responses of Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics in the United States to the income maintenance program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) using cross sections of state-level data. The results show that this program indeed reduces income inequality but the impacts are not uniform across racial/ethnic groups. Specifically, the authors find that Blacks have results that differ from those of the other two groups or those of the United States as a whole. These results are robust when using either the Gini or Theil measure of inequality. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Berkman, Michael; Honaker, James; Ojeda, Christopher; Plutzer, Eric
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2013

    In this paper we offer measures of state TANF policies that reflect the multi-dimensionality of state policy, and account for the intergovernmental complexity that underlies TANF. Our approach recognizes each state’s motivation to transition its poor population from public assistance to employment by focusing on the conditions recipients must meet to remain on assistance and to avoid being sanctioned for violating the conditions of assistance. We also offer some validity tests of these new measures and compare them with other widely used measures of state TANF policy. Our measures are not comprehensive—we do not in this paper, for example, offer measures of generosity or eligibility—but they do capture the state rules that guide local policymakers’ sanctioning decisions. [author introduction]

     

    In this paper we offer measures of state TANF policies that reflect the multi-dimensionality of state policy, and account for the intergovernmental complexity that underlies TANF. Our approach recognizes each state’s motivation to transition its poor population from public assistance to employment by focusing on the conditions recipients must meet to remain on assistance and to avoid being sanctioned for violating the conditions of assistance. We also offer some validity tests of these new measures and compare them with other widely used measures of state TANF policy. Our measures are not comprehensive—we do not in this paper, for example, offer measures of generosity or eligibility—but they do capture the state rules that guide local policymakers’ sanctioning decisions. [author introduction]

     

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