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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Blagg, Kristin; Chingos, Matthew; Corcoran, Sean P.; Cordes, Sarah A.; Cowen, Joshua; Denice, Patrick ; Gross, Betheny; Lincove, Jane Arnold ; Sattin-Bajaj, Carolyn; Schwartz, Amy Ellen; Valant, Jon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools....

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools.
    • Access to “high quality” high schools varies across cities, race and ethnicity, and on the quality measure used. However, ninth-grade students, on average, tend to live about a 10-minute drive from a “high quality” high school.
    • Access to a car can significantly increase the number of schools available to a family. Typical travel times to school by public transit are significantly greater than by car, especially in cities with less efficient transit networks.

    Just as there are inequalities and differences in students’ academic performance across these cities, we see parallel inequalities and differences in the distances that students travel and in the availability of nearby school options. Experiments in targeted policy interventions, such as implementing transportation vouchers for low-income parents of very young students, using yellow buses on circulating routes, or changing the way that school siting decisions are made, might yield pragmatic solutions that further level the playing field for a city’s most disadvantaged students. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    This set of selections focuses on transportation and self-sufficiency. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.

    This set of selections focuses on transportation and self-sufficiency. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.

  • Individual Author: Wright, Nicole
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    Posted by Nicole Wright, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Reliable transportation has long been considered an integral part of achieving economic self-sufficiency. The advent of urban sprawl and the movement of high-demand jobs and growing job sectors into suburban areas has made access to affordable public and private transportation a critical element of finding, attaining, and retaining jobs. Affordability and access issues across transportation types, both public and private (car ownership), have been associated with financial and commuting time burdens that are prohibitive for very low-income families, including paying for gas, insurance, and car maintenance and/or long public transit waits, cumbersome and time-consuming...

    Posted by Nicole Wright, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Reliable transportation has long been considered an integral part of achieving economic self-sufficiency. The advent of urban sprawl and the movement of high-demand jobs and growing job sectors into suburban areas has made access to affordable public and private transportation a critical element of finding, attaining, and retaining jobs. Affordability and access issues across transportation types, both public and private (car ownership), have been associated with financial and commuting time burdens that are prohibitive for very low-income families, including paying for gas, insurance, and car maintenance and/or long public transit waits, cumbersome and time-consuming transfers, and infrequent service during off-peak hours. Research has shown that upward mobility is in fact higher in cities with “less sprawl, as measured by commute times to work.” Conversely, “areas with greater economic and racial segregation, which might make job searches and commuting more difficult for residents of poor regions” tend to have lower income mobility. For this reason, research, practice, and policy in this field have largely centered on helping families overcome these barriers.  

    One of the key trends in transportation research is the study of spatial mismatch and how to overcome it. Although the spatial mismatch hypothesis was first proposed in the late 1960s, it continues to be relevant to policy and practice today. It originally posited that “serious limitations on black residential choice, combined with the steady dispersal of jobs from central cities, are responsible for the low rates of employment and low earnings of African-American workers.” In the context of transportation, this means that the geographic distance between low-income households and where employment opportunities are available must be bridged by affordable transportation options for individuals to have a means of retaining steady employment. This is especially true in light of a 2012 study that found that the “suburbanization of jobs” prevents transit from connecting workers to opportunity in local labor pools. The study ultimately found that the “typical job” is accessible to only 27 percent of a metropolitan workforce in 90 minutes or less via transit.

    Efforts to mitigate spatial mismatch through policy and practice have led to a debate between public and private transit solutions. Many studies have framed this discussion as one of public transportation access programs versus car ownership programs. Multiple studies have suggested car ownership as the more effective option. This is likely, in part, due to the increasing need for individuals living in urban centers to make a “reverse commute.” The reverse commute, defined as the commute from inner city residential locations to employment opportunities found in the suburbs, often requires private transportation due to a lack of public transportation in suburban areas. However, not all research has shown benefits to car ownership programs. A 2015 study found that although improving automobile access is associated with a decreased probability of future unemployment and greater income gains, the costs of owning and maintaining a car may be greater than the associated gains in income.

    Despite the difficulty many people have accessing and affording reliable transportation, one 2014 study, Getting around when you’re just getting by: Transportation survival strategies of the poor, reveals certain “survival strategies” used by low-income families to manage the expense. The authors found that most low-income households are concerned about transportation expenditure, and as a result, carefully evaluate the cost of travel against the benefits of each possible mode of transportation. These strategies include: modifications to travel behavior, cost-covering strategies, careful management of household expenditures, and reductions in discretionary spending. This study concluded that many of these strategies create additional hardship for low-income families. The findings serve to highlight the importance of helping families access transportation that not only bridges the gap to needed services and employment opportunities, but also fits the unique situation of each family. Other studies such as this one have repeatedly shown how crucial transportation access is to self-sufficiency. It is an issue that continues to grow in importance and a barrier that must be broken to create paths out of poverty for families across the country.

    Learn More About Transportation From the SSRC- The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse library contains numerous articles, reports, and stakeholder resources on transportation and its links to self-sufficiency, including: 

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more. 

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Martinson, Karin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Bridge to Employment in the Healthcare Industry program, designed by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and operated by three community-based organizations in San Diego County, California. Bridge to Employment is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Bridge to Employment program consisted of five components: (1) Assessments to determine eligibility for training programs; (2) Navigation and case management services to help students choose their training and address barriers to participation; (3) Individual training account (ITA) vouchers to cover the cost of training; (4) Supportive services for transportation, child care, and other services; and (5) Employment services to help participants find employment...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Bridge to Employment in the Healthcare Industry program, designed by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and operated by three community-based organizations in San Diego County, California. Bridge to Employment is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Bridge to Employment program consisted of five components: (1) Assessments to determine eligibility for training programs; (2) Navigation and case management services to help students choose their training and address barriers to participation; (3) Individual training account (ITA) vouchers to cover the cost of training; (4) Supportive services for transportation, child care, and other services; and (5) Employment services to help participants find employment after training. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that Bridge to Employment increased the credentials its participants received and increased employment in a healthcare occupation within the 18-month follow-up period. Future reports will examine whether these effects translate into economic gains in the workplace in the longer term. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blumenberg, Evelyn; Klein, Nicholas; Weinstein Agrawal, Asha; Abner, Kristin
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    On June 28th, 2017 at 2:00pm, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted a free Webinar entitled Transportation Access and Its Importance to Economic Mobility and Family Self-Sufficiency. This moderated Webinar provided an in-depth look at the research on how transportation barriers hinder self-sufficiency for low-income workers and explored practice- and policy-based approaches for alleviating transportation barriers. During this webinar, presenters will discussed the state of the research on transportation as a barrier to self-sufficiency and the relationship between transportation and economic/employment outcomes, as well as provided a practice and policy perspective to include recommendations and findings relevant to the self-sufficiency field. Dr. Evelyn Blumenberg, Dr. Nicholas Klein, and Dr. Asha Weinstein Agrawal served as speakers and Dr. Kristin Abner moderated the discussion.

    This is the PowerPoint presentation from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar...

    On June 28th, 2017 at 2:00pm, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted a free Webinar entitled Transportation Access and Its Importance to Economic Mobility and Family Self-Sufficiency. This moderated Webinar provided an in-depth look at the research on how transportation barriers hinder self-sufficiency for low-income workers and explored practice- and policy-based approaches for alleviating transportation barriers. During this webinar, presenters will discussed the state of the research on transportation as a barrier to self-sufficiency and the relationship between transportation and economic/employment outcomes, as well as provided a practice and policy perspective to include recommendations and findings relevant to the self-sufficiency field. Dr. Evelyn Blumenberg, Dr. Nicholas Klein, and Dr. Asha Weinstein Agrawal served as speakers and Dr. Kristin Abner moderated the discussion.

    This is the PowerPoint presentation from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Webinar transcript can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the Webinar can be found here.

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