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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: Martin, Erica
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2016

    Domestic violence is a vast social problem of considerable importance in the United States. It is more than a social problem; it is an economic problem as well due to the loss of productivity from abused victims. Based on a review of prior literature, a gap has been identified where virtually no spatial analysis has estimated accessibility or spatial matching of resources for victims of domestic violence. Accordingly, this paper will focus on analyzing if there is a spatial mismatch occurring between shelter resources and domestic violence victims, analyzing accessibility to these resources for victims, and on measuring the total cost or efficiency loss due to mismatches that are occurring.

    Strong links exist between rates of domestic violence and poverty, when combined with the shifting of the geography of poverty over the past decade, raises the question of whether resources are located efficiently and equitably to those in need. Since shelter locations are immobile it is important to analyze their distribution, especially since they place a key role in the outcomes for...

    Domestic violence is a vast social problem of considerable importance in the United States. It is more than a social problem; it is an economic problem as well due to the loss of productivity from abused victims. Based on a review of prior literature, a gap has been identified where virtually no spatial analysis has estimated accessibility or spatial matching of resources for victims of domestic violence. Accordingly, this paper will focus on analyzing if there is a spatial mismatch occurring between shelter resources and domestic violence victims, analyzing accessibility to these resources for victims, and on measuring the total cost or efficiency loss due to mismatches that are occurring.

    Strong links exist between rates of domestic violence and poverty, when combined with the shifting of the geography of poverty over the past decade, raises the question of whether resources are located efficiently and equitably to those in need. Since shelter locations are immobile it is important to analyze their distribution, especially since they place a key role in the outcomes for victims and in reducing costs associated with domestic violence.

    This research combines knowledge in economics with spatial analysis and Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities, and offers an improved understanding of this contemporary social problem. Improved methodologies such as the Enhanced Two-Step Floating Catchment Area method as well as other spatial tools bring new insights to the issue. The policy implications can potentially improve the distribution of resources for domestic violence victims as well as guide public policy decisions regarding shelter placement and other social welfare resources. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Perrotta, Alexis Francesca
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2015

    This research asks how universality of ridership is maintained in New York City’s transit system given that it is gated by the fare. Transportation planning scholarship presumes transit is affordable because the fare has a relatively low price and ridership among the poor is high. The transit agency addresses universality by maintaining a fare structure that keeps the single ride fare relatively low. Its method is based on empirical evidence that low-income riders “prefer” cheaper fare products over those with lower average fares but that require higher initial cash outlays. Transportation scholarship observes that low-income riders are inelastic and presumes, based on economic theory, that riders will forego more elastic goods to ride transit. Critical planning scholars have contested the tenets of the modernist planning project which utilize predict-and-provide empiricism and neoclassical economic models such as these. While urban planning has turned toward direct collaboration or at least participation with affected communities, transportation planning has not fully made this...

    This research asks how universality of ridership is maintained in New York City’s transit system given that it is gated by the fare. Transportation planning scholarship presumes transit is affordable because the fare has a relatively low price and ridership among the poor is high. The transit agency addresses universality by maintaining a fare structure that keeps the single ride fare relatively low. Its method is based on empirical evidence that low-income riders “prefer” cheaper fare products over those with lower average fares but that require higher initial cash outlays. Transportation scholarship observes that low-income riders are inelastic and presumes, based on economic theory, that riders will forego more elastic goods to ride transit. Critical planning scholars have contested the tenets of the modernist planning project which utilize predict-and-provide empiricism and neoclassical economic models such as these. While urban planning has turned toward direct collaboration or at least participation with affected communities, transportation planning has not fully made this turn. There is thus little transit-related research that is informed directly by riders, especially low-income riders, suggesting the conventional approaches to understanding how riders afford the fare are incomplete. To fill this void, this research engages with low-income transit riders to elaborate and challenge the explanations for universality of ridership. It finds that although the fare price is low, it is not necessarily affordable. The “preference” for single ride fares is in most cases the result of constraints. Single fare rides are often combined with fare evasion and exploitation of free transfers, while unlimited fare cards are highly sought and widely shared. Low-income riders are more likely to undertake compensating behaviors than to forego goods. On the occasions when they do forego goods, they compromise necessities such as food, telephone service, rent and laundry. Finally, agents of the welfare state distribute fares to low-income individuals to promote rehabilitation and labor force attachment. Together these findings suggest that universality of ridership is tenuous. It depends on fragmented systems of generosity, compromise and welfare of which transit advocates and planners are largely unaware. Fare evasion enforcement, pricing structures and fare payment methods can pose challenges to riders who rely on these fragmented systems. By explicitly acknowledging transit affordability, and incorporating knowledge on the role that welfare plays in enabling low-income ridership, planners can expand access to transit for low-income riders. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bailey, Andrea Leigh
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2015

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service estimates that 23.5 million people live in food deserts, over half of which are considered low-income residents. Accurately defining a food desert is crucial as the designated areas can benefit from grant opportunities and funding priority. To qualify as an urban food desert, the USDA requires that at least 500 residents or one-third of the population live outside a one-mile buffer from a supermarket as well as have a median income of less than 80% of the area average or a poverty rate of greater than 20%. Approaches in the literature to identify low accessibility areas (food deserts) include simple spatial analyses, travel cost models, grocery cost models, and activity-based models. Although using cost as a measure of access is beneficial, the travel cost components are ill-defined, especially for transit. Additionally, defining food deserts as a ratio of travel cost to median household income may more accurately reflect areas with poor accessibility to healthy food by utilizing a combined measure...

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service estimates that 23.5 million people live in food deserts, over half of which are considered low-income residents. Accurately defining a food desert is crucial as the designated areas can benefit from grant opportunities and funding priority. To qualify as an urban food desert, the USDA requires that at least 500 residents or one-third of the population live outside a one-mile buffer from a supermarket as well as have a median income of less than 80% of the area average or a poverty rate of greater than 20%. Approaches in the literature to identify low accessibility areas (food deserts) include simple spatial analyses, travel cost models, grocery cost models, and activity-based models. Although using cost as a measure of access is beneficial, the travel cost components are ill-defined, especially for transit. Additionally, defining food deserts as a ratio of travel cost to median household income may more accurately reflect areas with poor accessibility to healthy food by utilizing a combined measure instead of distinct income and access components.

    This paper develops a cost surface for auto, transit, and walking to determine the average travel cost to the nearest supermarket for each mode in Indianapolis using Spatial Analyst in ArcGIS 10.2. Given the results from ArcGIS, spatial lag models are used to model the proportion of household income spent on traveling to supermarkets as a function of socioeconomic variables. The results show that a higher crime density, no college degree, and living outside of I-465 are all correlated with poorer accessibility to healthy food. These explanatory variables had similar effects for driving and walking, but the transit network was less sensitive to education and crime and more location-dependent. For this study, working with the police department and community to reduce crime as well as expanding the transit network are both recommended as potential interventions. Results from this analysis can provide valuable insight into the reasons behind the existence of food deserts. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nguyen, Lynna
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2013

    Public transportation is a crucial part of the economic and social fabric of metropolitan areas. However, transit ridership has been decreasing over the decades, putting preference on the convenience of owning personal vehicles. It is seen that low income individuals are less likely to own a vehicle, thus becoming dependents on the public transportation system. However, there are few studies performed to analyze how effectively transit connects people and jobs within and across these metropolitan areas. And as a result, few federal and state programs related to transportation use factors like job accessibility via transit to make investment decisions. There are even fewer studies and programs relating to subsidizing vehicle ownership. Analyzing characteristics of low income individuals, understanding travel patterns, job availability, accessibility, and trip chaining are the methods used in this analysis to better understand the transportation needs of low income individuals. In addition, understanding the relationship that transit and personal vehicles play on the location of...

    Public transportation is a crucial part of the economic and social fabric of metropolitan areas. However, transit ridership has been decreasing over the decades, putting preference on the convenience of owning personal vehicles. It is seen that low income individuals are less likely to own a vehicle, thus becoming dependents on the public transportation system. However, there are few studies performed to analyze how effectively transit connects people and jobs within and across these metropolitan areas. And as a result, few federal and state programs related to transportation use factors like job accessibility via transit to make investment decisions. There are even fewer studies and programs relating to subsidizing vehicle ownership. Analyzing characteristics of low income individuals, understanding travel patterns, job availability, accessibility, and trip chaining are the methods used in this analysis to better understand the transportation needs of low income individuals. In addition, understanding the relationship that transit and personal vehicles play on the location of low income individuals and low income employment is crucial in creating and implementing programs that will improve and maintain transit and vehicle ownership options for metropolitan residents.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kim, Seok-Joo
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2013

    Purpose and Background: This study aimed to test the effects of job access and neighborhood disadvantage on the employment success of female former welfare recipients. It mainly addressed vital policy concerns on employment issues of Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) recipients who exited cash assistance. This study was grounded on two theoretical perspectives: (1) the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis (SMH) that explained job access as a barrier to employment and (2) Wilson’s observation that neighborhood disadvantage negatively affected employment.

    Method: As a non-experimental design, this longitudinal study merged two local administrative datasets with 2000 Census data. This study selected female former welfare recipients (N=13,788) (1) who exited cash assistance and were employed between 2000 and 2003, and (2) who resided in 405 census tracts of Cuyahoga County. Employment success was measured by: job retention, two-year employment, and average quarterly earnings. In addition to demographic and human capital variables, the independent variables that were measured...

    Purpose and Background: This study aimed to test the effects of job access and neighborhood disadvantage on the employment success of female former welfare recipients. It mainly addressed vital policy concerns on employment issues of Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) recipients who exited cash assistance. This study was grounded on two theoretical perspectives: (1) the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis (SMH) that explained job access as a barrier to employment and (2) Wilson’s observation that neighborhood disadvantage negatively affected employment.

    Method: As a non-experimental design, this longitudinal study merged two local administrative datasets with 2000 Census data. This study selected female former welfare recipients (N=13,788) (1) who exited cash assistance and were employed between 2000 and 2003, and (2) who resided in 405 census tracts of Cuyahoga County. Employment success was measured by: job retention, two-year employment, and average quarterly earnings. In addition to demographic and human capital variables, the independent variables that were measured: (1) individual job access (distances), (2) neighborhood public transportation access, and (3) neighborhood disadvantage. As a main analysis, Hierarchical Generalized Linear Model (HGLM) and Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM) were conducted to test the nested effects of job access and neighborhood disadvantage on employment success. Furthermore, this study used spatial analysis (mapping and spatial auto-correlation) to support the main analysis.

    Results: This study found variances of the employment success among neighborhoods. The results showed that neighborhood disadvantage adversely affected the employment success of female former welfare recipients; however, shorter job distances and higher public transportation access only increased average quarterly earnings.

    Discussion: The results suggested three domains for implication on social work programs and social policy: (1) neighborhood disadvantage, (2) individual job access and neighborhood public transportation access, and (3) cash assistance program and policy. In particular, this study recommended community development and residential programs should ameliorate the job access barriers and neighborhood disadvantage of welfare recipients. The implementation of cash assistance programs should consider the effects of job access and neighborhood disadvantage. (Author abstract)

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