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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: 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: Baek, Deokrye
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This paper examines whether access to public transportation reduces the probability of food insecurity for households. The dataset combines information from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (CPS-FSS) and the National Transit Database for the period of 2006 to 2009. I address a potential endogeneity problem using the change in federal governmental transportation funding, the Urbanized Area Formula grants, as an instrument. I find evidence of a negative causal effect of public transportation accessibility on food insecurity. An extra bus-equivalent vehicle per 10,000 people decreases the probability of food insecurity of households by 0.78 percentage points. In particular, the impact of public transit is more prominent among poor households and poor African - American households. (author abstract)

    This paper examines whether access to public transportation reduces the probability of food insecurity for households. The dataset combines information from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (CPS-FSS) and the National Transit Database for the period of 2006 to 2009. I address a potential endogeneity problem using the change in federal governmental transportation funding, the Urbanized Area Formula grants, as an instrument. I find evidence of a negative causal effect of public transportation accessibility on food insecurity. An extra bus-equivalent vehicle per 10,000 people decreases the probability of food insecurity of households by 0.78 percentage points. In particular, the impact of public transit is more prominent among poor households and poor African - American households. (author abstract)

  • 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: Lichtenwalter, Sara; Koeske, Gary; Sales, Esther
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    This study of 62 low-income, primarily black, single mothers, in the Pittsburgh labor force, examined the relationship between transportation and employment outcomes through regression analyses. The study's unique Transportation Advantage measure enabled the quantification of mobility disparities between auto owners and those utilizing other travel modes. Results indicated that women with private vehicles reported higher Transportation Advantage and better employment outcomes than those with even the best public transportation services, which questions the efficacy of bus passes as the predominant travel intervention. In addition, there was evidence of transportation's mediating effect on the relationship between participants' human capital and their employment outcomes. The mobility status of the single mothers in this study had a greater impact on their employment outcomes than either education or work experience. (Author abstract)

    This study of 62 low-income, primarily black, single mothers, in the Pittsburgh labor force, examined the relationship between transportation and employment outcomes through regression analyses. The study's unique Transportation Advantage measure enabled the quantification of mobility disparities between auto owners and those utilizing other travel modes. Results indicated that women with private vehicles reported higher Transportation Advantage and better employment outcomes than those with even the best public transportation services, which questions the efficacy of bus passes as the predominant travel intervention. In addition, there was evidence of transportation's mediating effect on the relationship between participants' human capital and their employment outcomes. The mobility status of the single mothers in this study had a greater impact on their employment outcomes than either education or work experience. (Author abstract)

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