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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: Brown, Elizabeth; Conroy, Kara; Kirby, Gretchen G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Parolin, Zachary; Brady, David
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    This paper applies improved household income data to reevaluate the levels, trends, composition, and role of social policy in extreme child poverty in the U.S. from 1997-2015. Unlike prior research, we correct for the underreporting of means-tested transfers and incorporate the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Doing so reduces the share of children below $2 per day from about 1.8% to 0.1%. That said, we acknowledge use of survey data omits the estimated 1.3 million homeless children in 2014-2015. We find that three different measures of extreme child poverty have declined since 1997. Unlike prior literature’s focus on single motherhood, citizenship status is the more consequential characteristic. Between 58-73% of children in extreme poverty live in households headed by non-citizens. Simulations granting them access to the median SNAP benefit reduce their extreme poverty substantially. Two-way fixed effects models show that higher state-level generosity and take up of SNAP and TANF significantly reduce extreme poverty. Unlike prior research’s focus on the...

    This paper applies improved household income data to reevaluate the levels, trends, composition, and role of social policy in extreme child poverty in the U.S. from 1997-2015. Unlike prior research, we correct for the underreporting of means-tested transfers and incorporate the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Doing so reduces the share of children below $2 per day from about 1.8% to 0.1%. That said, we acknowledge use of survey data omits the estimated 1.3 million homeless children in 2014-2015. We find that three different measures of extreme child poverty have declined since 1997. Unlike prior literature’s focus on single motherhood, citizenship status is the more consequential characteristic. Between 58-73% of children in extreme poverty live in households headed by non-citizens. Simulations granting them access to the median SNAP benefit reduce their extreme poverty substantially. Two-way fixed effects models show that higher state-level generosity and take up of SNAP and TANF significantly reduce extreme poverty. Unlike prior research’s focus on the decline of TANF, we show SNAP has grown in generosity and take-up. In turn, changes to social policy since 1997 have probably had offsetting effects on extreme child poverty. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wimer, Christopher; Hartley, Robert Paul; Nam, Jaehyun
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on economic mobility for income, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of poverty or material hardship. This study provides the first estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity and poverty status from childhood into early adulthood. An advantage of studying the transmission of food insecurity is that it provides a direct measure of well-being compared to income-based poverty measures. In this study, we use panels of childhood and adult food security measures in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics over the survey years 1997 (using the Child Development Supplement) through early release data for 2017. Childhood food insecurity is associated with about 20 percentage points higher probability of food insecurity as an adult (or 10 percentage points conditional on income and wealth). The estimated transmission of food insecurity is robust to using different measures of food security as well as...

    The persistence of disadvantage across generations is a central concern for social policy in the United States. While an extensive literature has focused on economic mobility for income, much less is known about the mechanisms for mobility out of poverty or material hardship. This study provides the first estimates of the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity and poverty status from childhood into early adulthood. An advantage of studying the transmission of food insecurity is that it provides a direct measure of well-being compared to income-based poverty measures. In this study, we use panels of childhood and adult food security measures in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics over the survey years 1997 (using the Child Development Supplement) through early release data for 2017. Childhood food insecurity is associated with about 20 percentage points higher probability of food insecurity as an adult (or 10 percentage points conditional on income and wealth). The estimated transmission of food insecurity is robust to using different measures of food security as well as to applying instrumental variable methods for panel data that account for an individual’s fixed ability endowment. This study establishes an important benchmark for measuring persistence in long-term family well-being and labor market outcomes. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wheaton, Laura; Tran, Victoria
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of poor and low-income Americans purchase food, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. This analysis estimates SNAP’s effect on poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). We augment the Census Bureau’s SPM to correct for the underreporting of SNAP and other means-tested benefits in the underlying survey data. We find that SNAP removed 8.4 million people from poverty in 2015, reducing the poverty rate from 15.4 percent to 12.8 percent (a reduction of 17 percent). SNAP reduced the poverty gap (the aggregate amount of additional income required to remove all poor families from poverty) by $35 billion (21 percent) in 2015. (Author abstract) 

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of poor and low-income Americans purchase food, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. This analysis estimates SNAP’s effect on poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). We augment the Census Bureau’s SPM to correct for the underreporting of SNAP and other means-tested benefits in the underlying survey data. We find that SNAP removed 8.4 million people from poverty in 2015, reducing the poverty rate from 15.4 percent to 12.8 percent (a reduction of 17 percent). SNAP reduced the poverty gap (the aggregate amount of additional income required to remove all poor families from poverty) by $35 billion (21 percent) in 2015. (Author abstract) 

  • 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. Tax and Transfer Programs 

    A Universal Child Allowance: A Plan to Reduce Poverty and Income Instability Among Children in the United States

    H. Luke Shaefer, Sophie Collyer, Greg Duncan, Kathryn Edin, Irwin Garfinkel, David Harris, Timothy M. Smeeding, Jane Waldfogel, Christopher Wimer, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa

    Cash for Kids

    Marianne P. Bitler, Annie Laurie Hines, and Marianne Page

    A Targeted Minimum Benefit Plan: A New Proposal to Reduce Poverty Among Older Social Security Recipients

    Pamela Herd, Melissa Favreault, Madonna Harrington Meyer, and Timothy M. Smeeding

    Reforming Policy for Single-Parent Families to Reduce Child Poverty

    Maria Cancian and Daniel R. Meyer

    Reconstructing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to More Effectively Alleviate Food Insecurity in the United States 

    Craig Gundersen, Brent Kreider, and John V. Pepper

    A Renter's Tax Credit to Curtail the Affordable Housing Crisis 

    Sara Kimberlin, Laura Tach, and Christopher Wimer

    The Rainy Day Earned Income Tax Credit: A Reform to Boost Financial Security by Helping Low-Wage Workers Build Emergency Savings

    Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Sara Sternberg Greene, Ezra Levin, and Kathryn Edin

     

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