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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: Blumenberg, Evelyn; Pierce, Gregory; Smart, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Access to automobiles may be particularly important to housing voucher recipients, who are more likely than residents of public housing to live in suburban neighborhoods where transit service is often limited. Access to high-quality public transit is more likely to benefit low-income households who live in dense central-city neighborhoods in close proximity to employment. In this analysis we draw on survey data from two housing voucher experiments—the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing and Welfare-to-Work Voucher programs—to examine the relationship between access to automobiles and public transit and the employment and earnings outcomes of program participants.

    Our research underscores the importance of automobiles in achieving desirable outcomes for families who receive subsidized housing. Access to automobiles is associated with improved economic outcomes for all program participants and better facilitates job acquisition, job retention, and earnings than public transit. Our findings suggest the need to better link housing and transportation programs and to pursue a...

    Access to automobiles may be particularly important to housing voucher recipients, who are more likely than residents of public housing to live in suburban neighborhoods where transit service is often limited. Access to high-quality public transit is more likely to benefit low-income households who live in dense central-city neighborhoods in close proximity to employment. In this analysis we draw on survey data from two housing voucher experiments—the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing and Welfare-to-Work Voucher programs—to examine the relationship between access to automobiles and public transit and the employment and earnings outcomes of program participants.

    Our research underscores the importance of automobiles in achieving desirable outcomes for families who receive subsidized housing. Access to automobiles is associated with improved economic outcomes for all program participants and better facilitates job acquisition, job retention, and earnings than public transit. Our findings suggest the need to better link housing and transportation programs and to pursue a set of policies that increase automobile access among all subsidized housing recipients. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blumenberg, Evelyn; Pierce, Gregory
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Problem, research strategy, and findings: We evaluate the role of transportation in improving the employment outcomes of participants in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing Voucher Program, a 10-year demonstration project designed to enable low-income families to improve their outcomes by moving out of high-poverty neighborhoods. We use longitudinal data from the MTO program to assess the role of transportation—automobiles and improved access to public transit—in moving to, and maintaining, employment. We use multi-nomial logistic regression to predict changes in employment status as a function of change in automobile availability and transit accessibility, controlling for other potential determinants of employment. We find that keeping or gaining access to an automobile is positively related to the likelihood of employment. Improved access to public transit is positively associated with maintaining employment, but not with job gains. Although we cannot say for certain whether car ownership preceded or followed employment, it is clear that having a car provides...

    Problem, research strategy, and findings: We evaluate the role of transportation in improving the employment outcomes of participants in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing Voucher Program, a 10-year demonstration project designed to enable low-income families to improve their outcomes by moving out of high-poverty neighborhoods. We use longitudinal data from the MTO program to assess the role of transportation—automobiles and improved access to public transit—in moving to, and maintaining, employment. We use multi-nomial logistic regression to predict changes in employment status as a function of change in automobile availability and transit accessibility, controlling for other potential determinants of employment. We find that keeping or gaining access to an automobile is positively related to the likelihood of employment. Improved access to public transit is positively associated with maintaining employment, but not with job gains. Although we cannot say for certain whether car ownership preceded or followed employment, it is clear that having a car provides multiple benefits that facilitate getting and keeping a job.

    Takeaway for practice: Policies to increase automobile access among low-income households—even in dense urban areas—will most clearly enhance job gain and job retention. While auto programs are unpopular with many planners, they would improve the lives of low-income families who currently have the least access to cars. In addition, supporting moves to transit-rich neighborhoods may help households maintain consistent employment. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cove, Elizabeth; Turner, Margery Austin ; De Souza Briggs, Xavier ; Duarte, Cynthia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Is there a correlation between exposure to racially integrated, low poverty areas and employment outcomes? Does moving from a poor, inner city neighborhood to a less poor area bring greater proximity to job opportunities, or contacts with new networks of neighbors who might steer movers to jobs? Does living in a community where more people work increase motivation to work or to increase income? In examining these questions for the MTO experimental movers, this brief finds that factors in addition to where people live affect their employment and earnings. (author abstract)

    Is there a correlation between exposure to racially integrated, low poverty areas and employment outcomes? Does moving from a poor, inner city neighborhood to a less poor area bring greater proximity to job opportunities, or contacts with new networks of neighbors who might steer movers to jobs? Does living in a community where more people work increase motivation to work or to increase income? In examining these questions for the MTO experimental movers, this brief finds that factors in addition to where people live affect their employment and earnings. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kawabata, Mizuki
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2002

    One of the major concerns in today's urban labor market is spatial mismatch, the geographic separation between jobs and workers. Although numerous studies examine spatial mismatch, most of them focus on inner-city minorities, and the spatial mismatch problem for all autoless workers in a metropolitan area as a whole has not been well explored. Focusing on low-skilled workers and welfare recipients, this dissertation explores and quantifies the importance of job accessibility in employment outcomes for disadvantaged workers without autos in U.S. metropolitan areas.

    Metropolitan areas studied are Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles for low-skilled workers and Los Angeles for welfare recipients. An essential component of the analysis is the calculation of improved job-access measures that take into account supply and demand sides of the labor market and travel modes. The resulting measures indicate that, contrary to the perception of many spatial mismatch studies, central-city areas still offer more of a geographical advantage in accessing employment opportunities than...

    One of the major concerns in today's urban labor market is spatial mismatch, the geographic separation between jobs and workers. Although numerous studies examine spatial mismatch, most of them focus on inner-city minorities, and the spatial mismatch problem for all autoless workers in a metropolitan area as a whole has not been well explored. Focusing on low-skilled workers and welfare recipients, this dissertation explores and quantifies the importance of job accessibility in employment outcomes for disadvantaged workers without autos in U.S. metropolitan areas.

    Metropolitan areas studied are Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles for low-skilled workers and Los Angeles for welfare recipients. An essential component of the analysis is the calculation of improved job-access measures that take into account supply and demand sides of the labor market and travel modes. The resulting measures indicate that, contrary to the perception of many spatial mismatch studies, central-city areas still offer more of a geographical advantage in accessing employment opportunities than suburban areas, despite the substantial suburbanization of employment. In other words, spatial mismatch is greater in suburban areas than in central-city areas. The measures also indicate that the levels of spatially accessible job opportunities are considerably lower for transit users than for auto users. In other words, spatial mismatch is much greater for transit users than for auto users. This transit/auto disparity is much greater than the central-city/suburb disparity, suggesting that the mode of travel has greater importance in determining job accessibility than location. These findings suggest that spatial mismatch may pose a serious problem for autoless workers, particularly for those who live in suburban areas, although it may not be a problem for workers with autos.

    By incorporating the improved job-access measures into multinomial logit (MNL) models and regression models with Heckman correction, I find that improving job accessibility for transit users significantly augments the employment probability and the probability of working fulltime for low-skilled autoless workers in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Further, in all three areas the job-access effect is greater for low-skilled autoless workers than for low-skilled autoowning workers. Applying the same analytical framework for welfare recipients in Los Angeles, I find consistent results. I also find that job accessibility for transit users plays a more important role in employment outcomes in San Francisco and Los Angeles, more highly autodependent areas, than in Boston, a more compact area with relatively well-developed transit systems. The empirical findings together suggest that spatial mismatch is in fact the problem for autoless workers in suburban areas where jobs are dispersed and public transportation is poorly developed. The findings also suggest that spatial mismatch is more likely to be an employment barrier for those who live in suburban areas than for those who live in central-city areas, which contradicts the dominant view among spatial mismatch researchers.

    The empirical findings hold important policy implications. Simulations of some policy scenarios indicate that for autoless workers in highly auto-dependent areas, a housing dispersal program would actually worsen their employment prospects, although for auto-owning workers such a program could be helpful, and that transportation mobility programs that improve mobility and job accessibility for transit users would enhance the employment outcomes for autoless as well as for auto-owning workers. Thus, this dissertation's empirical analysis of the combination of spatial and transportation mismatch contributes new information for the theory and policy debate surrounding the problem of spatial mismatch. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lacombe, Annalynn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    This study uses a geographic information system (GIS) to assess mobility for the recipients living in the City of Boston. Although the scope and specific nature of the mobility problem vary considerably among U.S. cities, Boston presents a good case study for older Frostbelt cities with mature central areas and well-developed transit systems. 

    This study has three objectives: 

    1. Determine recipients' overall access to transit service.

    2. Estimate where in the metropolitan area recipients are likely to find work and determine these potential employers' proximity to transit.

    3. Ascertain how well mass transit in Boston connects welfare recipients and employers and thus meets recipients' mobility needs. 

    This study did not address other key mobility considerations, such as the locations of day care centers and other services upon which working mothers rely. 

    This report profiles the recipient population nationwide and describes their most significant mobility challenges, namely, the transportation demands of single parenthood and the...

    This study uses a geographic information system (GIS) to assess mobility for the recipients living in the City of Boston. Although the scope and specific nature of the mobility problem vary considerably among U.S. cities, Boston presents a good case study for older Frostbelt cities with mature central areas and well-developed transit systems. 

    This study has three objectives: 

    1. Determine recipients' overall access to transit service.

    2. Estimate where in the metropolitan area recipients are likely to find work and determine these potential employers' proximity to transit.

    3. Ascertain how well mass transit in Boston connects welfare recipients and employers and thus meets recipients' mobility needs. 

    This study did not address other key mobility considerations, such as the locations of day care centers and other services upon which working mothers rely. 

    This report profiles the recipient population nationwide and describes their most significant mobility challenges, namely, the transportation demands of single parenthood and the changing spatial patterns of employment. It also looks at the spatial distribution and key characteristics of TANF recipients in Boston, and assesses recipients' job opportunities and the location of potential employers. It provides an analysis of recipients' access to jobs and of transit system performance, and presents key conclusions and suggests areas for future analysis. (author introduction)

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