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  • Individual Author: Berger, Lawrence M. (ed.); Cancian, Maria (ed.); Magnuson, Katherine (ed.)
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2018

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by high-lighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty...

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by high-lighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty from a variety of perspectives. Some of these proposals are more of a departure from existing policies than others, some borrow from other countries or revive old ideas, some are narrow in focus and others much broader, but all seek to move anti-poverty efforts into new territory. (Author abstract) 

    Contents:

    Introduction

    Anti-Poverty Policy Innovations: New Proposals for Addressing Poverty in the United States

    Lawrence Berger, Maria Cancian, and Katherine Magnuson

    Part I. Employment, Education, and Family Planning

    Coupling a Federal Minimum Wage Hike with Public Investments to Make Work Pay and Reduce Poverty

    Jennifer Romich and Heather Hill

    A Path to Ending Poverty by Way of Ending Unemployment: A Federal Job Guarantee

    Mark Paul, William Darity Jr., Darrick Hamilton, and Khaing Zaw

    Working to Reduce Poverty: A National Subsidized Employment Proposal

    Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Kali Grant, Julie Kerksick, Dan Bloom, and Ajay Chaudry 

    A "Race to the Top" in Public Higher Education to Improve Education and Employment Among the Poor

    Harry Holzer

    Postsecondary Pathways out of Poverty: City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs and the Case for National Policy

    Diana Strumbos, Donna Linderman, and Carson Hicks

    A Two-Generation Human Capital Approach to Anti-poverty Policy

    Teresa Eckrich Sommer, Terri Sabol, Elise Chor, William Schneider, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Mario Small, Christopher King, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa

    Could We Level the Playing Field? Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Nonmarital Fertility, and Poverty in the United States

    Lawrence Wu and Nicholas Mark

    Assessing the Potential Impacts of Innovative New Policy Proposals on Poverty in the United States

    Christopher Wimer, Sophie Collyer, and Sara Kimberlin

  • Individual Author: Neumark, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Poverty remains a persistent problem in many areas in the United States. Existing place-based policies—especially enterprise zones—have generally failed to provide benefits to the least advantaged. Drawing on lessons from the often-negative findings on effects of past place-based policies, but preserving the potential advantage of policies that try to improve economic outcomes in specific areas, I propose a new place-based policy—Rebuilding Communities Job Subsidies, or RCJS—to encourage job and income growth in areas of economic disadvantage. RCJS targets neighborhoods classified as extremely poor, and low-income workers in those neighborhoods, with a period of fully subsidized jobs to build skills and improve and revitalize areas of extreme poverty, to be followed by partially subsidized private sector jobs. (Author abstract). 

    Poverty remains a persistent problem in many areas in the United States. Existing place-based policies—especially enterprise zones—have generally failed to provide benefits to the least advantaged. Drawing on lessons from the often-negative findings on effects of past place-based policies, but preserving the potential advantage of policies that try to improve economic outcomes in specific areas, I propose a new place-based policy—Rebuilding Communities Job Subsidies, or RCJS—to encourage job and income growth in areas of economic disadvantage. RCJS targets neighborhoods classified as extremely poor, and low-income workers in those neighborhoods, with a period of fully subsidized jobs to build skills and improve and revitalize areas of extreme poverty, to be followed by partially subsidized private sector jobs. (Author abstract). 

  • Individual Author: Burd-Sharps, Sarah; Lewis, Kristen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    In 2016, the number of young people disconnected from both work and school declined for the sixth year in a row. The 2016 disconnected youth rate of 11.7 percent represents a 20 percent decrease since 2010, when disconnection peaked in the aftermath of the Great Recession—about 1.2 million fewer young people. A large group of young people saw their opportunities expand alongside the expanding economy; the youth unemployment rate was roughly half in 2016 what it was in 2010. But not all young people saw growth: 4.6 million young women and men remain disconnected from both school and the labor market, unmoored from routines of work and school that give shape, purpose, and direction to one’s days, and deprived of experiences that build knowledge, networks, skills, and confidence.

    More than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today analyzes youth disconnection in the United States by state, metro area, county, and community type, and by gender, race, and ethnicity. Disconnected youth, also known as opportunity youth, are teenagers and young...

    In 2016, the number of young people disconnected from both work and school declined for the sixth year in a row. The 2016 disconnected youth rate of 11.7 percent represents a 20 percent decrease since 2010, when disconnection peaked in the aftermath of the Great Recession—about 1.2 million fewer young people. A large group of young people saw their opportunities expand alongside the expanding economy; the youth unemployment rate was roughly half in 2016 what it was in 2010. But not all young people saw growth: 4.6 million young women and men remain disconnected from both school and the labor market, unmoored from routines of work and school that give shape, purpose, and direction to one’s days, and deprived of experiences that build knowledge, networks, skills, and confidence.

    More than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today analyzes youth disconnection in the United States by state, metro area, county, and community type, and by gender, race, and ethnicity. Disconnected youth, also known as opportunity youth, are teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. This report is the first in Measure of America’s disconnected youth series to compare American and European metro areas or to examine disconnection by group characteristics such as poverty status, motherhood, marriage status, disability, English proficiency, citizenship, educational attainment, institutionalization, and household composition for different racial and ethnic groups. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Maher, Will
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    When many Americans think of poverty, decaying urban areas and neglected rural pockets come to mind. However, in the last 20 years, the geography of American poverty has shifted, with an increasing number of America’s poor people now living in suburbs. (Author abstract)

    When many Americans think of poverty, decaying urban areas and neglected rural pockets come to mind. However, in the last 20 years, the geography of American poverty has shifted, with an increasing number of America’s poor people now living in suburbs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Varner, Charles; Mattingly, Marybeth; Grusky, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    In recent years, much attention has been paid to the changing structure of U.S. income inequality, but somewhat less to the changing structure of U.S. poverty. Why has the discussion of "new poverty facts" been sidelined? It is certainly not because the changes have been minor or unimportant. To the contrary, the landscape of U.S. poverty appears to be changing rapidly, with many of the most popular proposals to reform the country's safety net motivated precisely by new empirical developments. But these developments have typically been invoked in piecemeal fashion and have not captivated the country to the extent that the spectacular takeoff in income inequality has. Although there are many reasons for this reticence (including the obvious one that recent trends in income inequality are, by any standard, especially dramatic), we cannot dismiss the frequently voiced worry that an open discussion would be counterproductive because some reformers might seize on that discussion to justify reforms oriented more toward reducing spending than reducing poverty. This worry...

    In recent years, much attention has been paid to the changing structure of U.S. income inequality, but somewhat less to the changing structure of U.S. poverty. Why has the discussion of "new poverty facts" been sidelined? It is certainly not because the changes have been minor or unimportant. To the contrary, the landscape of U.S. poverty appears to be changing rapidly, with many of the most popular proposals to reform the country's safety net motivated precisely by new empirical developments. But these developments have typically been invoked in piecemeal fashion and have not captivated the country to the extent that the spectacular takeoff in income inequality has. Although there are many reasons for this reticence (including the obvious one that recent trends in income inequality are, by any standard, especially dramatic), we cannot dismiss the frequently voiced worry that an open discussion would be counterproductive because some reformers might seize on that discussion to justify reforms oriented more toward reducing spending than reducing poverty. This worry sometimes leads to less-than-transparent discussion. We offer this article in the admittedly quaint hope that it is better to operate with full and complete transparency and that an open and honest discussion of the facts will in the end lead to informed poverty-reducing policy. The simple predicate of this piece is that, given the massive externalities brought on by running a high-poverty economy, there is an open-and-shut case for reform efforts that are authentically focused on reducing the poverty rate. We will attempt, therefore, to identify the key poverty facts that such legitimate reform efforts should bear in mind. In the course of doing so, we will reveal how the current array of reform proposals, including those published here, attend to different sets of stylized facts. (Author introduction)

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