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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: Riccio, James A.
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2013

    This presentation describes several U.S., U.K., and Canadian work incentive programs and their effects on employment and earnings over time.

    This presentation was given at the 2013 National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop.

    This presentation describes several U.S., U.K., and Canadian work incentive programs and their effects on employment and earnings over time.

    This presentation was given at the 2013 National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop.

  • Individual Author: Riddell, Chris; Riddell, W. Craig
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2012

    This paper investigates whether policies that encourage recipients to exit welfare for full-time employment influence participation in educational activity. The Self-Sufficiency Project ('SSP') was a demonstration project where long-term welfare recipients randomly assigned to the treatment group were offered a generous earnings supplement if they exited welfare for full-time employment. We find that treatment group members were less likely to upgrade their education along all dimensions: high-school completion, enrolling in a community college or trade school, and enrolling in university. Thus, 'work-first'; policies that encourage full-time employment may reduce educational activity and may have adverse consequences on the long-run earnings capacity of welfare recipients. We also find that there was a substantial amount of educational upgrading in this population. For instance, among high-school dropouts at the baseline, 19% completed their diploma by the end of the demonstration. Finally, we simulate the consequences of the earnings supplement in the absence of adverse effects...

    This paper investigates whether policies that encourage recipients to exit welfare for full-time employment influence participation in educational activity. The Self-Sufficiency Project ('SSP') was a demonstration project where long-term welfare recipients randomly assigned to the treatment group were offered a generous earnings supplement if they exited welfare for full-time employment. We find that treatment group members were less likely to upgrade their education along all dimensions: high-school completion, enrolling in a community college or trade school, and enrolling in university. Thus, 'work-first'; policies that encourage full-time employment may reduce educational activity and may have adverse consequences on the long-run earnings capacity of welfare recipients. We also find that there was a substantial amount of educational upgrading in this population. For instance, among high-school dropouts at the baseline, 19% completed their diploma by the end of the demonstration. Finally, we simulate the consequences of the earnings supplement in the absence of adverse effects on educational upgrading. Doing so alters the interpretation of the lessons from the SSP demonstration. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Hamilton, Gayle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    This brief presents findings, and lessons for policy and practice, from MDRC-conducted studies of five programs that provided earnings supplements and that have been rigorously evaluated using a random assignment research design: the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Milwaukee’s New Hope Project, the Texas Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) program, and the United Kingdom Employment Retention and Advancement (UK ERA) program. The evaluations primarily focus on the effects of the programs on single parents. SSP, MFIP, and New Hope operated some time ago (primarily in the 1990s), but long-run follow-up data are available only recently. In addition, relatively new evaluation results are available from the more recent Texas ERA and UK ERA programs.

    This brief discusses key findings from evaluations of these earnings supplement programs and then provides lessons for both policy and practice that have emerged from these initiatives. While each program had its own set of unique circumstances and lessons (and none is...

    This brief presents findings, and lessons for policy and practice, from MDRC-conducted studies of five programs that provided earnings supplements and that have been rigorously evaluated using a random assignment research design: the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Milwaukee’s New Hope Project, the Texas Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) program, and the United Kingdom Employment Retention and Advancement (UK ERA) program. The evaluations primarily focus on the effects of the programs on single parents. SSP, MFIP, and New Hope operated some time ago (primarily in the 1990s), but long-run follow-up data are available only recently. In addition, relatively new evaluation results are available from the more recent Texas ERA and UK ERA programs.

    This brief discusses key findings from evaluations of these earnings supplement programs and then provides lessons for both policy and practice that have emerged from these initiatives. While each program had its own set of unique circumstances and lessons (and none is currently operating), the focus here is on common themes across the initiatives. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Morris, Pamela; Duncan, Greg J.; Rodrigues, Christopher
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Social scientists do not agree on the size and nature of the causal impacts of parental income on children's achievement. We revisit this issue using a set of welfare and antipoverty experiments conducted in the 1990s. We utilize an instrumental variables strategy to leverage the variation in income and achievement that arises from random assignment to the treatment group to estimate the causal effect of income on child achievement. Our estimates suggest that a $1,000 increase in annual income increases young children's achievement by 5%–6% of a standard deviation. As such, our results suggest that family income has a policy-relevant, positive impact on the eventual school achievement of preschool children. (author abstract)

    Social scientists do not agree on the size and nature of the causal impacts of parental income on children's achievement. We revisit this issue using a set of welfare and antipoverty experiments conducted in the 1990s. We utilize an instrumental variables strategy to leverage the variation in income and achievement that arises from random assignment to the treatment group to estimate the causal effect of income on child achievement. Our estimates suggest that a $1,000 increase in annual income increases young children's achievement by 5%–6% of a standard deviation. As such, our results suggest that family income has a policy-relevant, positive impact on the eventual school achievement of preschool children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grogger, Jeffrey; Karoly, Lynn A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work. Although the effects of such programmes on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. We review a few studies that provide such information here. We sketch a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that we observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. Our theoretical framework likewise explains the observed variation in the effects of such programmes on children. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

    Transfer payments to poor families are increasingly conditioned on work. Although the effects of such programmes on employment are fairly well understood, relatively little is known about their effects on marriage or child well-being. We review a few studies that provide such information here. We sketch a theoretical model that draws from the efficient-household literature. The model is consistent with the wide range of effects that we observe and suggests an explanation for some of the observed differences. Our theoretical framework likewise explains the observed variation in the effects of such programmes on children. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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