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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: 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: Feldman, Andrew R.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2011

    Catalyzed by welfare reform legislation in 1996, welfare systems across the nation shifted to a work-first approach aimed at moving recipients quickly into unsubsidized employment. Yet today, almost a decade and a half after those changes, we still know little about which frontline practices are most effective within the work-first framework. In particular, why are some work-first employment programs more successful at helping individuals get and keep jobs? Insights into that question can help states and localities better serve the more than two million American families currently on the welfare rolls.

    This is a case study of how New York City's welfare-to-work programs were managed and implemented in the mid 2000s. It is a performance analysis, using both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the operations and performance of 26 nonprofit and for-profit welfare-to-work programs. The book draws on individual-level data on more than 14,000 participants, and the use of random assignment creates a natural experiment that assists in comparing program performance. (...

    Catalyzed by welfare reform legislation in 1996, welfare systems across the nation shifted to a work-first approach aimed at moving recipients quickly into unsubsidized employment. Yet today, almost a decade and a half after those changes, we still know little about which frontline practices are most effective within the work-first framework. In particular, why are some work-first employment programs more successful at helping individuals get and keep jobs? Insights into that question can help states and localities better serve the more than two million American families currently on the welfare rolls.

    This is a case study of how New York City's welfare-to-work programs were managed and implemented in the mid 2000s. It is a performance analysis, using both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the operations and performance of 26 nonprofit and for-profit welfare-to-work programs. The book draws on individual-level data on more than 14,000 participants, and the use of random assignment creates a natural experiment that assists in comparing program performance. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Carnevale, Anthony P.; Cheah, Ban
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In the past, a college degree all but assured job seekers employment and high earnings, but today, what you make depends on what you take. In Hard Times 2013, we show differences in unemployment and earnings based on major for BA and graduate degree holders. We show that STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — majors typically offer the best opportunities for employment and earnings, while unemployment is higher for graduates with non-technical degrees.

    Here are some of our major findings:

    1. Even as the housing bubble seems to be dissipating, unemployment rates for recent architecture graduates have remained high (12.8%). Graduate degrees and work experience did not shield these graduates from a sector-specific shock; graduates with experience in the field have the same jobless rates as the economy overall (9.3%).

    2. Unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (9.8%) or law and public policy (9.2%).

    3. People who make technology are still better off than people who use technology. Unemployment rates...

    In the past, a college degree all but assured job seekers employment and high earnings, but today, what you make depends on what you take. In Hard Times 2013, we show differences in unemployment and earnings based on major for BA and graduate degree holders. We show that STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — majors typically offer the best opportunities for employment and earnings, while unemployment is higher for graduates with non-technical degrees.

    Here are some of our major findings:

    1. Even as the housing bubble seems to be dissipating, unemployment rates for recent architecture graduates have remained high (12.8%). Graduate degrees and work experience did not shield these graduates from a sector-specific shock; graduates with experience in the field have the same jobless rates as the economy overall (9.3%).

    2. Unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (9.8%) or law and public policy (9.2%).

    3. People who make technology are still better off than people who use technology. Unemployment rates for recent graduates in information systems, concentrated in clerical functions, is high (14.7%) compared with mathematics (5.9%) and computer science (8.7%).

    4. Unemployment rates are relatively low for recent graduates in education (5.0%), engineering (7.0%), health and the sciences (4.8%) because they are tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations.

    5. Graduates in psychology and social work also have relatively low rates (8.8%) because almost half of them work in healthcare or education sectors.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Carlson, Deven; Haveman, Robert; Kaplan, Tom; Wolfe, Barbara
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    The federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program provides eligible low-income families with an income-conditioned voucher that pays for a portion of rental costs in privately owned, affordable housing units. This paper extends prior research on the effectiveness of rental support programs in several ways. The analysis employs a unique longitudinal dataset created by combining administrative records maintained by the State of Wisconsin with census block group data. We use a propensity score matching approach coupled with difference-in-differences regression analysis to estimate the effect of housing voucher receipt on the employment and earnings of voucher recipients; we track these effects for five years following voucher receipt. Our results indicate that voucher receipt has a generally positive effect on employment, but a negative impact on earnings. The negative earnings effect is largest in the years following initial receipt of the rental voucher, and dissipates over time. We find that the pattern of recipient labor market responses to voucher receipt differs...

    The federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program provides eligible low-income families with an income-conditioned voucher that pays for a portion of rental costs in privately owned, affordable housing units. This paper extends prior research on the effectiveness of rental support programs in several ways. The analysis employs a unique longitudinal dataset created by combining administrative records maintained by the State of Wisconsin with census block group data. We use a propensity score matching approach coupled with difference-in-differences regression analysis to estimate the effect of housing voucher receipt on the employment and earnings of voucher recipients; we track these effects for five years following voucher receipt. Our results indicate that voucher receipt has a generally positive effect on employment, but a negative impact on earnings. The negative earnings effect is largest in the years following initial receipt of the rental voucher, and dissipates over time. We find that the pattern of recipient labor market responses to voucher receipt differs substantially among demographic subgroups. In addition to our overall results, we present sensitivity results involving alternative estimation methods, as well as distinctions between those who receive transitory voucher support and those who are long-term recipients. (author abstract)

    A journal article based on this working paper was published in 2012.

  • Individual Author: Weigensberg, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2013

    On June 5, 2013, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Using Administrative Data: Quantitative and Qualitative Insights for Workforce Development Programs Webinar featuring Dr. Elizabeth Weigensberg.  During the Webinar Dr. Weigensberg discussed how the recent challenges with the economic environment have led to an increased need for employment and training assistance. Policymakers, practitioners, and consumers have demonstrated a growing demand for data to assist with decision-making to assess the performance of workforce development programs and obtain a better understanding of how these programs promote employment. This Webinar described recent research efforts in Chicago, highlighting how cross-system, longitudinal, and matched administrative data provided key information to support data-informed decision-making among local stakeholders. Strengths and limitations of administrative data were also discussed, including valuable qualitative insights into the "black box" of what makes workforce programs successful.

    Dr. Weigensberg was third Emerging...

    On June 5, 2013, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Using Administrative Data: Quantitative and Qualitative Insights for Workforce Development Programs Webinar featuring Dr. Elizabeth Weigensberg.  During the Webinar Dr. Weigensberg discussed how the recent challenges with the economic environment have led to an increased need for employment and training assistance. Policymakers, practitioners, and consumers have demonstrated a growing demand for data to assist with decision-making to assess the performance of workforce development programs and obtain a better understanding of how these programs promote employment. This Webinar described recent research efforts in Chicago, highlighting how cross-system, longitudinal, and matched administrative data provided key information to support data-informed decision-making among local stakeholders. Strengths and limitations of administrative data were also discussed, including valuable qualitative insights into the "black box" of what makes workforce programs successful.

    Dr. Weigensberg was third Emerging Scholar, and was featured April through June, 2013. Dr. Elizabeth Weigensberg is a Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

    An interactive question and answer session followed the formal presentation and this document provides a record of that dialogue. The recording from the Webinar as well as more information on Dr. Weigensberg and her work can be found here. The transcript Dr. Weigensberg’s Webinar can be found here. Dr. Weigensberg's PowerPoint from the Webinar can be found here.

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