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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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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Hendey, Leah; Woo, Beadsie; Signe-Mary, McKernan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Using longitudinal Making Connections Survey data on 2,500 families in low-income neighborhoods, this fact sheet finds that access to credit and residents’ perceptions of their neighborhood are all related to wealth holdings, even after controlling for household characteristics. Residents who believed their neighborhood had shared values increased their total debt and equity from 2005/06 to 2008/09. High rates of subprime lending were associated with less saving and borrowing, perhaps signaling less access to credit. Our findings suggest that both household and place characteristics matter to wealth families accrue and illustrate the importance of paying attention to place and local conditions. (author abstract)

    Using longitudinal Making Connections Survey data on 2,500 families in low-income neighborhoods, this fact sheet finds that access to credit and residents’ perceptions of their neighborhood are all related to wealth holdings, even after controlling for household characteristics. Residents who believed their neighborhood had shared values increased their total debt and equity from 2005/06 to 2008/09. High rates of subprime lending were associated with less saving and borrowing, perhaps signaling less access to credit. Our findings suggest that both household and place characteristics matter to wealth families accrue and illustrate the importance of paying attention to place and local conditions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hendey, Leah; McKernan, Signe-Mary; Woo, Beadsie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    This report looks closely at what happened to assets, debts and home equity for families living in low-income neighborhoods during the Great Recession, using data from the longitudinal Making Connections Survey. We find that both average savings and debt amounts increased between 2005/06 and 2008/09, but asset and debt levels remained lower for vulnerable families, and low-income families disproportionally lost equity during the crisis. Yet even in 2008/09, home equity was substantial and an important component of wealth ($66,000, more than four times as much as families had in savings) for the nearly half of families who were homeowners. (author abstract)

    This report looks closely at what happened to assets, debts and home equity for families living in low-income neighborhoods during the Great Recession, using data from the longitudinal Making Connections Survey. We find that both average savings and debt amounts increased between 2005/06 and 2008/09, but asset and debt levels remained lower for vulnerable families, and low-income families disproportionally lost equity during the crisis. Yet even in 2008/09, home equity was substantial and an important component of wealth ($66,000, more than four times as much as families had in savings) for the nearly half of families who were homeowners. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gezinski, Lindsay Blair
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2011

    With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, Congress ended “welfare as we know it” and formally adopted a workfare approach. However, families continue to be trapped in the “low-wage ghetto”. Therefore, research is needed that investigates effective routes out of poverty. Studies have found that welfare recipients with higher educational attainment work more and earn significantly higher income than those with lower educational attainment. However, very little research exists around the relationship between social capital and labor force participation.

    Four research questions guided this study: (1) How do demographic variables affect social capital and human capital among single women who use welfare? (2) How do social capital and human capital affect employment outcome? (3) Do social capital and human capital act as mediators between demographic variables and employment outcome? (4) How do macro-level variables (i.e., city unemployment rate and state TANF policy) affect employment outcome?

    This study...

    With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, Congress ended “welfare as we know it” and formally adopted a workfare approach. However, families continue to be trapped in the “low-wage ghetto”. Therefore, research is needed that investigates effective routes out of poverty. Studies have found that welfare recipients with higher educational attainment work more and earn significantly higher income than those with lower educational attainment. However, very little research exists around the relationship between social capital and labor force participation.

    Four research questions guided this study: (1) How do demographic variables affect social capital and human capital among single women who use welfare? (2) How do social capital and human capital affect employment outcome? (3) Do social capital and human capital act as mediators between demographic variables and employment outcome? (4) How do macro-level variables (i.e., city unemployment rate and state TANF policy) affect employment outcome?

    This study analyzed Wave 2 (2005-2007) data from the Making Connections Cross-Site Survey database. 1,428 women with no spouse/partner present in the household who indicated use of a TANF/welfare office in the last 12 months were selected for inclusion in the study sample. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to extract factors that underlie the social capital construct and to identify the indicators that were associated with each of those factors. Five social capital factors emerged: support giving social capital, bonding social capital, bridging social capital, value sharing social capital, and support receiving social capital. Structural equation modeling was used to answer the major research questions in this study. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rademacher, Ida; Brooks, Jennifer; Wiedrich, Kasey; Melford, Genevieve; Nguyen, Michelle; Rosen, Barbara; Campbell, Chris; Lawton, Kristin; Radovich, Amy; Murrell, Karen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Local leaders are pioneering new ways to leverage the resources and regulatory power of municipalities to work across departmental silos and public/private sector divides to scale up economic inclusion and asset-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. Municipal governments are uniquely poised to implement innovative and effective programs, create powerful partnerships and deliver forward-thinking services to the communities they serve every day.

    CFED worked closely with members of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition to understand these emerging efforts, and the resulting report, Building Economic Security in America’s Cities: New Municipal Strategies for Asset Building and Financial Empowerment, highlights the work cities across the country are doing to educate, empower and protect residents in the financial marketplace. This report represents a comprehensive effort to document the range of municipal policies and programs that are being used to enhance the financial security of low-income families during a time of deep recession. (author...

    Local leaders are pioneering new ways to leverage the resources and regulatory power of municipalities to work across departmental silos and public/private sector divides to scale up economic inclusion and asset-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. Municipal governments are uniquely poised to implement innovative and effective programs, create powerful partnerships and deliver forward-thinking services to the communities they serve every day.

    CFED worked closely with members of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition to understand these emerging efforts, and the resulting report, Building Economic Security in America’s Cities: New Municipal Strategies for Asset Building and Financial Empowerment, highlights the work cities across the country are doing to educate, empower and protect residents in the financial marketplace. This report represents a comprehensive effort to document the range of municipal policies and programs that are being used to enhance the financial security of low-income families during a time of deep recession. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nuñez, Stephen Charles
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2011

    In this dissertation, I explore the role of values and moral judgments in credit markets. I focus on the frequenting of “fringe banks,” controversial institutions that serve those who have limited access to mainstream credit markets as a result of poverty and/or poor/no credit history. Among other intriguing results, I find compelling evidence that there are persistent statistical differences in payday and pawn loan usage across racial and ethnic groups that cannot be explained by disparities in wealth and credit access. Instead, I argue that they are the result of variations in the perception of the propriety of such loans, variations that have their root in the legacy of racial discrimination in mainstream credit markets in the United States. To make this case, I utilize both quantitative and qualitative data as well as a variety of novel statistical techniques. I analyze cross-site multi-wave survey data collected by The Center for Community Capital, The National Opinion Research Center and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. I strengthen my argument by drawing on excellent focus...

    In this dissertation, I explore the role of values and moral judgments in credit markets. I focus on the frequenting of “fringe banks,” controversial institutions that serve those who have limited access to mainstream credit markets as a result of poverty and/or poor/no credit history. Among other intriguing results, I find compelling evidence that there are persistent statistical differences in payday and pawn loan usage across racial and ethnic groups that cannot be explained by disparities in wealth and credit access. Instead, I argue that they are the result of variations in the perception of the propriety of such loans, variations that have their root in the legacy of racial discrimination in mainstream credit markets in the United States. To make this case, I utilize both quantitative and qualitative data as well as a variety of novel statistical techniques. I analyze cross-site multi-wave survey data collected by The Center for Community Capital, The National Opinion Research Center and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. I strengthen my argument by drawing on excellent focus group data supplied by The Center for Community Capital and The Center for Responsible Lending. This study represents a unique contribution to the sociology of credit and finance and demonstrates the importance of synthesizing structural and cultural approaches to the study of economic activity. (author abstract)

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