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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: Doolittle, Fred; Lynn, Suzanne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) research on child support enforcement has several goals. First, it seeks to provide insights into the interaction between local child support enforcement systems and noncustodial parents whose children are on welfare. The approach taken in this report is to analyze what happened when the seven sites in the PFS Demonstration sought to identify low-income, unemployed noncustodial parents appropriate for PFS and refer them to the program. The report carries this story up to the point of referral of appropriate noncustodial parents to the program. Later reports in the project will continue the story, examining the implementation of PFS’s enhanced child support enforcement for noncustodial parents referred to the program and estimating program impacts on payment of child support and other key outcomes. (author abstract)

    Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) research on child support enforcement has several goals. First, it seeks to provide insights into the interaction between local child support enforcement systems and noncustodial parents whose children are on welfare. The approach taken in this report is to analyze what happened when the seven sites in the PFS Demonstration sought to identify low-income, unemployed noncustodial parents appropriate for PFS and refer them to the program. The report carries this story up to the point of referral of appropriate noncustodial parents to the program. Later reports in the project will continue the story, examining the implementation of PFS’s enhanced child support enforcement for noncustodial parents referred to the program and estimating program impacts on payment of child support and other key outcomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2011

    How well do our education policies prepare America’s youth for the labor market? What challenges limit our success, and what opportunities do we have for improvements? Can public policy play a greater role in encouraging more success? I consider these questions as they apply to the unique characteristics of metropolitan areas in the U.S. Most labor markets are metropolitan in nature, with workers commuting across central-city and suburban municipalities to jobs wherever they are located. In most metro areas, jobs (especially those paying higher wages) and different groups of residents are distributed unevenly; white and minority residents and those with higher and lower incomes are often quite highly segregated from each other residentially. These characteristics of metro areas should be taken into account as we consider what kinds of education and workforce policies and reforms to implement.

    This paper begins with a brief overview of the future U.S. labor market, including a review of trends in the demand for labor. In particular, I consider demand for both middle- and...

    How well do our education policies prepare America’s youth for the labor market? What challenges limit our success, and what opportunities do we have for improvements? Can public policy play a greater role in encouraging more success? I consider these questions as they apply to the unique characteristics of metropolitan areas in the U.S. Most labor markets are metropolitan in nature, with workers commuting across central-city and suburban municipalities to jobs wherever they are located. In most metro areas, jobs (especially those paying higher wages) and different groups of residents are distributed unevenly; white and minority residents and those with higher and lower incomes are often quite highly segregated from each other residentially. These characteristics of metro areas should be taken into account as we consider what kinds of education and workforce policies and reforms to implement.

    This paper begins with a brief overview of the future U.S. labor market, including a review of trends in the demand for labor. In particular, I consider demand for both middle- and high-skill jobs, where the former are defined as those requiring some postsecondary education or training (broadly defined) beyond a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree, and the latter are defined as those requiring a bachelor’s or higher. I then review the challenges limiting so many young Americans as they prepare for the labor market, as well as what we know about programs and policies that might improve observed outcomes.(author abstract)

    This chapter is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan and a discussion paper published by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Individual Author: Dearden, Lorraine; Emmerson, Carl; Frayne, Christine; Meghir, Costas
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    This paper evaluates a United Kingdom pilot study designed to test whether a means-tested conditional cash transfer paid to 16- to 18-year-olds for staying in full-time education is an effective way of reducing the proportion of school dropouts. The transfer’s impact is substantial: In the first year, full-time education participation rates increase by around 4.5 percentage points while the proportion receiving two years of education increases by around 6.7 percentage points. Those receiving the full payment have the largest initial increase in participation and some evidence is found suggesting that part of the effect can be explained by liquidity constraints. (author abstract)

    This paper evaluates a United Kingdom pilot study designed to test whether a means-tested conditional cash transfer paid to 16- to 18-year-olds for staying in full-time education is an effective way of reducing the proportion of school dropouts. The transfer’s impact is substantial: In the first year, full-time education participation rates increase by around 4.5 percentage points while the proportion receiving two years of education increases by around 6.7 percentage points. Those receiving the full payment have the largest initial increase in participation and some evidence is found suggesting that part of the effect can be explained by liquidity constraints. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Green, Gary
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Job training is an important factor in enhancing the economic well-being of workers. Technological advances, especially with computers, have led to dramatic improvements over the past decade or so in productivity and the demand for skilled workers. There are concerns, however, that many workers will be left behind in the shift toward a more “high-tech” economy. In particular, the persistence of gender and racial differences in earnings raises concerns that some workers may not be receiving enough training to be successful in the new economy.

    Along with the shift in demand for skilled workers, there has been a relatively important shift in how and where job training takes place. Historically, public policy has focused on developing training programs for workers in educational institutions and other organizations outside the workplace. Over the years these programs, especially for disadvantaged workers, proliferated and there was little coherence to the federal, and state, programs that were available. These programs have become more streamlined and coordinated through the...

    Job training is an important factor in enhancing the economic well-being of workers. Technological advances, especially with computers, have led to dramatic improvements over the past decade or so in productivity and the demand for skilled workers. There are concerns, however, that many workers will be left behind in the shift toward a more “high-tech” economy. In particular, the persistence of gender and racial differences in earnings raises concerns that some workers may not be receiving enough training to be successful in the new economy.

    Along with the shift in demand for skilled workers, there has been a relatively important shift in how and where job training takes place. Historically, public policy has focused on developing training programs for workers in educational institutions and other organizations outside the workplace. Over the years these programs, especially for disadvantaged workers, proliferated and there was little coherence to the federal, and state, programs that were available. These programs have become more streamlined and coordinated through the Workforce Investment Act, which establishes regional boards to coordinate training activities.

    There also has been a growing recognition that workers learn best in the their work environment. Numerous institutional innovations, such as youth apprenticeships, school-to-work programs, and others have placed much greater emphasis on experiential learning. Research on training also has focused increasingly on formal training offered by employers and the obstacles employers face in provided general training to their workforce.

    In this paper I examine the willingness of employers to provide formal training to women and minorities. The analysis focuses on the role of firm, worker and job characteristics in the receipt of job training. (author)

  • Individual Author: Katz, Michael B.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    "There are places where history feels irrelevant, and America's inner cities are among them," acknowledges Michael Katz, in expressing the tensions between activism and scholarship. But this major historian of urban poverty realizes that the pain in these cities has its origins in the American past. To understand contemporary poverty, he looks particularly at an old attitude: because many nineteenth-century reformers traced extreme poverty to drink, laziness, and other forms of bad behavior, they tried to use public policy and philanthropy to improve the character of poor people, rather than to attack the structural causes of their misery. Showing how this misdiagnosis has afflicted today's welfare and educational systems, Katz draws on his own experiences to introduce each of four topics--the welfare state, the "underclass" debate, urban school reform, and the strategies of survival used by the urban poor. Uniquely informed by his personal involvement, each chapter also illustrates the interpretive power of history by focusing on a strand of social policy in the nineteenth and...

    "There are places where history feels irrelevant, and America's inner cities are among them," acknowledges Michael Katz, in expressing the tensions between activism and scholarship. But this major historian of urban poverty realizes that the pain in these cities has its origins in the American past. To understand contemporary poverty, he looks particularly at an old attitude: because many nineteenth-century reformers traced extreme poverty to drink, laziness, and other forms of bad behavior, they tried to use public policy and philanthropy to improve the character of poor people, rather than to attack the structural causes of their misery. Showing how this misdiagnosis has afflicted today's welfare and educational systems, Katz draws on his own experiences to introduce each of four topics--the welfare state, the "underclass" debate, urban school reform, and the strategies of survival used by the urban poor. Uniquely informed by his personal involvement, each chapter also illustrates the interpretive power of history by focusing on a strand of social policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: social welfare from the poorhouse era through the New Deal, ideas about urban poverty from the undeserving poor to the "underclass," and the emergence of public education through the radical school reform movement now at work in Chicago.

    Why have American governments proved unable to redesign a welfare system that will satisfy anyone? Why has public policy proved unable to eradicate poverty and prevent the deterioration of major cities? What strategies have helped poor people survive the poverty endemic to urban history? How did urban schools become unresponsive bureaucracies that fail to educate most of their students? Are there fresh, constructive ways to think about welfare, poverty, and public education? Throughout the book Katz shows how interpretations of the past, grounded in analytic history, can free us of comforting myths and help us to reframe discussions of these great public issues. (publisher abstract)

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