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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: Stoll, Michael A.; Covington, Kenya L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Despite declines in racial segregation across most US metropolitan areas in recent years, racial and ethnic minorities still display uneven geographical access to jobs but consistently inferior to that of Whites. This article provides a detailed analysis of the factors driving racial and ethnic gaps in spatial mismatch conditions across US metropolitan areas. Using data primarily from the 1990 and 2000 US censuses, and the 1994 and 1999 US Department of Commerce's zip code business pattern files, descriptive, multivariate and decompositional evidence is generated to address why Blacks and to a lesser extent Latinos display greater degrees of spatial mismatch than Whites. The results indicate that, among many other factors including job sprawl, racial segregation in housing markets is the most important. The models indicate that racial differences in spatial mismatch conditions, particularly between Blacks and Whites, should be eliminated in 45–50 years if racial segregation levels continue to decline in the future at rates similar to those observed over the 1990s. (author...

    Despite declines in racial segregation across most US metropolitan areas in recent years, racial and ethnic minorities still display uneven geographical access to jobs but consistently inferior to that of Whites. This article provides a detailed analysis of the factors driving racial and ethnic gaps in spatial mismatch conditions across US metropolitan areas. Using data primarily from the 1990 and 2000 US censuses, and the 1994 and 1999 US Department of Commerce's zip code business pattern files, descriptive, multivariate and decompositional evidence is generated to address why Blacks and to a lesser extent Latinos display greater degrees of spatial mismatch than Whites. The results indicate that, among many other factors including job sprawl, racial segregation in housing markets is the most important. The models indicate that racial differences in spatial mismatch conditions, particularly between Blacks and Whites, should be eliminated in 45–50 years if racial segregation levels continue to decline in the future at rates similar to those observed over the 1990s. (author abstract)

    This article is based on working papers published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan and the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Individual Author: Phillips, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In urban areas job vacancies often exist but poor, minority residents tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods with limited geographic access to these jobs. Using a randomized field experiment with public transit subsidies, I test whether this spatial mismatch of workers from jobs causes poor labor market outcomes. Randomly selected clients of a non-profit employment agency received a public transit subsidy to assist in applying to jobs and attending interviews with potential employers. I find evidence that the transit subsidies have a large, short-run effect in reducing unemployment durations with treatment causing the probability of finding employment within 40 days to increase by 9 percentage points, from 0.26 to 0.35. After 90 days, this difference narrows to a large but statistically insignificant 5 percentage points. I find weaker evidence that this decrease in unemployment duration results from more intense search behavior, with the transit subsidy group applying to more jobs and jobs further from home. To my knowledge, these results provide the first experimental...

    In urban areas job vacancies often exist but poor, minority residents tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods with limited geographic access to these jobs. Using a randomized field experiment with public transit subsidies, I test whether this spatial mismatch of workers from jobs causes poor labor market outcomes. Randomly selected clients of a non-profit employment agency received a public transit subsidy to assist in applying to jobs and attending interviews with potential employers. I find evidence that the transit subsidies have a large, short-run effect in reducing unemployment durations with treatment causing the probability of finding employment within 40 days to increase by 9 percentage points, from 0.26 to 0.35. After 90 days, this difference narrows to a large but statistically insignificant 5 percentage points. I find weaker evidence that this decrease in unemployment duration results from more intense search behavior, with the transit subsidy group applying to more jobs and jobs further from home. To my knowledge, these results provide the first experimental confirmation that spatial mismatch of workers from jobs can cause adverse labor market outcomes for poor, urban individuals. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hercik, Jeanette M.; Techico, Christina; Abner, Kristin; Davis, Diana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development (NJDFD) wanted to explore the prevalence, degree and location of transportation barriers among their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants. This report is intended to summarize the specific needs of the TANF population in New Jersey from the view of the caseworkers and participants themselves based on the surveys and focus groups. It is not the intention of the Administration for Children and Families or the researchers to make policy or programmatic recommendations to the State of New Jersey. Through the design, development, and administration of customized, tested surveys for participants and staff, as well as the use of specialized focus groups with participants, New Jersey learned how and why barriers to employment and self-sufficiency were exacerbated by a lack of reliable and affordable transportation. Through an environmental scan of other State surveys from around the country, the Office of Family Assistance, New Jersey Division of Family Development, and ICF International...

    The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development (NJDFD) wanted to explore the prevalence, degree and location of transportation barriers among their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants. This report is intended to summarize the specific needs of the TANF population in New Jersey from the view of the caseworkers and participants themselves based on the surveys and focus groups. It is not the intention of the Administration for Children and Families or the researchers to make policy or programmatic recommendations to the State of New Jersey. Through the design, development, and administration of customized, tested surveys for participants and staff, as well as the use of specialized focus groups with participants, New Jersey learned how and why barriers to employment and self-sufficiency were exacerbated by a lack of reliable and affordable transportation. Through an environmental scan of other State surveys from around the country, the Office of Family Assistance, New Jersey Division of Family Development, and ICF International jointly developed two surveys to be administered to TANF participants and staff, as well as a qualitative focus group protocol to ascertain in-depth information on how transportation functions as a barrier for New Jersey’s families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gurmu, Shiferaw; Ihlanfeldt, Keith R.; Smith, William J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    We study the factors affecting the employment probability of temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) recipients using recent quarterly panel data from Atlanta, Georgia. A central focus of our study is to determine whether the TANF recipient's proximity to job opportunity and the availability of childcare affect her probability of full-time employment. Both static and dynamic models of employment choice are estimated that control for unobserved individual effects. We estimate models separately for a sub-sample of TANF recipients living in public housing, whose residential locations can be considered exogenously determined. We find substantial evidence that individuals and family characteristics (such as, the education of the recipient and the number of children and adults in her family) are important determinants of the employment probability of welfare recipients. On the other hand, location related variables are found to be relatively unimportant. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a...

    We study the factors affecting the employment probability of temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) recipients using recent quarterly panel data from Atlanta, Georgia. A central focus of our study is to determine whether the TANF recipient's proximity to job opportunity and the availability of childcare affect her probability of full-time employment. Both static and dynamic models of employment choice are estimated that control for unobserved individual effects. We estimate models separately for a sub-sample of TANF recipients living in public housing, whose residential locations can be considered exogenously determined. We find substantial evidence that individuals and family characteristics (such as, the education of the recipient and the number of children and adults in her family) are important determinants of the employment probability of welfare recipients. On the other hand, location related variables are found to be relatively unimportant. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research.

  • Individual Author: Sullivan, James X.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    This paper examines whether AFDC/TANF asset tests affect the asset holdings of low-educated single mothers, exploiting variation in asset limits and exemptions across states and over time. There are important reasons to examine vehicle assets in this context. For example, vehicles make up a very significant share of total wealth for poor families, and the variation in vehicle exemptions over time and across states far exceeds the variation in asset limits. Consistent with other recent research, I find little evidence that asset limits have an effect on the amount of liquid assets that single mothers hold. However, I find evidence that vehicle exemptions do have an important effect on vehicle assets. The findings suggest that moving from a $1500 vehicle exemption to a full vehicle exemption increases the probability of owning a car by 20 percentage points for low-educated single mothers relative to a comparison group. Also, the results indicate that single mothers are not substituting vehicle equity for liquid assets in response to more relaxed restrictions on vehicles. (Author...

    This paper examines whether AFDC/TANF asset tests affect the asset holdings of low-educated single mothers, exploiting variation in asset limits and exemptions across states and over time. There are important reasons to examine vehicle assets in this context. For example, vehicles make up a very significant share of total wealth for poor families, and the variation in vehicle exemptions over time and across states far exceeds the variation in asset limits. Consistent with other recent research, I find little evidence that asset limits have an effect on the amount of liquid assets that single mothers hold. However, I find evidence that vehicle exemptions do have an important effect on vehicle assets. The findings suggest that moving from a $1500 vehicle exemption to a full vehicle exemption increases the probability of owning a car by 20 percentage points for low-educated single mothers relative to a comparison group. Also, the results indicate that single mothers are not substituting vehicle equity for liquid assets in response to more relaxed restrictions on vehicles. (Author abstract)

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