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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: Bavier, Richard
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Perhaps the two most controversial recommendations in the National Research Council's report, Measuring Poverty: A New Approach, are: 1) to allow the thresholds to change in real terms over time; 2) to not include medical needs in the "basic bundle" of food, shelter, and clothing making up the recommended poverty budget. This paper examines the empirical basis and logic of the recommended treatment of medical needs.

    To explain the exclusion of medical needs, the panel states, "such needs are highly variable across the population, much more variable than needs for such items as food and housing. One would have to develop a large number of thresholds to reflect different levels of medical care need, thereby complicating the poverty measure. Moreover, the predictor variables used to develop the thresholds (e.g., age, or self-reported health status) may not properly reflect an individual's medical needs during any one year: some people in a generally sicker group may not be sick that year and vice versa for people in a generally healthier group. The result would be...

    Perhaps the two most controversial recommendations in the National Research Council's report, Measuring Poverty: A New Approach, are: 1) to allow the thresholds to change in real terms over time; 2) to not include medical needs in the "basic bundle" of food, shelter, and clothing making up the recommended poverty budget. This paper examines the empirical basis and logic of the recommended treatment of medical needs.

    To explain the exclusion of medical needs, the panel states, "such needs are highly variable across the population, much more variable than needs for such items as food and housing. One would have to develop a large number of thresholds to reflect different levels of medical care need, thereby complicating the poverty measure. Moreover, the predictor variables used to develop the thresholds (e.g., age, or self-reported health status) may not properly reflect an individual's medical needs during any one year: some people in a generally sicker group may not be sick that year and vice versa for people in a generally healthier group. The result would be that it would be very easy to make an erroneous poverty classification." (p.226)…

    This paper tests the assertion that out-of-pocket medical spending is "much more variable than needs for such items as food and housing." If it is not, then it might not be impractical to include out-of-pocket medical expenditures in the poverty budget underlying new thresholds. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Blumenberg, Evelyn; Ong, Paul
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1998

    Previous scholars have explored the effects of local labor market conditions on welfare usage. However, none of these studies use direct measures of geographic access to nearby jobs. Responding to this limitation, our research combines data from the 1990 census with three administrative data sets to examine the effect of geographic job access—defined as the relative supply of low-wage jobs located within a three-mile radius of a census tract—on welfare usage rates among the Los Angeles population with a high school degree or less. After controlling for other characteristics likely to affect welfare behavior, we find that welfare usage declines as geographic job access increases. This relationship holds not only among African-Americans, the subject of much of the scholarship on job access and economic opportunity, but also among whites, Asians, and Hispanics. (author abstract) 

    The SSRC has also posted the working paper here: https://www.opressrc.org/content/job-accessibility...

  • Individual Author: Bauman, Kurt
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    There has been increasing interest in using direct measures of economic well being to keep track of how people are getting by. One set of indicators developed for this purpose includes questions on paying bills, ability to get needed health care and food sufficiency. Data gathered by the Census Bureau in the Survey of Income and Program Participation represent the first attempt to gather such data from a nationally-representative sample. The evidence presented here supports the use of hardship measures as a valid and useful measure of household well-being. They are strongly related to other factors correlated with poverty, and have a significant influence on high school dropout. However, there are other dimensions to hardship that are not strictly correlated with poverty, and there is some evidence that hardship might not be reliably measured over time. Those who use it as an outcome measure or as a way to calibrate other measures of poverty and well-being need to proceed with caution. (author abstract)

    There has been increasing interest in using direct measures of economic well being to keep track of how people are getting by. One set of indicators developed for this purpose includes questions on paying bills, ability to get needed health care and food sufficiency. Data gathered by the Census Bureau in the Survey of Income and Program Participation represent the first attempt to gather such data from a nationally-representative sample. The evidence presented here supports the use of hardship measures as a valid and useful measure of household well-being. They are strongly related to other factors correlated with poverty, and have a significant influence on high school dropout. However, there are other dimensions to hardship that are not strictly correlated with poverty, and there is some evidence that hardship might not be reliably measured over time. Those who use it as an outcome measure or as a way to calibrate other measures of poverty and well-being need to proceed with caution. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Naifeh, Mary
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    This report uses data from the 1993 SIPP panel to examine poverty from October 1992 through December 1995. SIPP allows us to examine both the static and dynamic aspects of poverty, thereby providing a richer picture than the one drawn by the Current Population Survey (CPS), the survey currently used for official poverty rates. The CPS provides only a single static snapshot of poverty for the population. SIPP’s longitudinal data provide not only several static pictures but also several dynamic measures of movement into and out of poverty and poverty spells or duration. In addition, SIPP can also distinguish between short-term and long-term poverty. Unlike the CPS’ annual data, the SIPP uses monthly data to measure poverty; hence, the SIPP allows one to measure poverty on a monthly basis as well as for longer periods of time.

    The picture of poverty drawn by statistics depends partly on the type of statistics used. In this report we describe poverty using seven different measures:

    1. Average monthly poverty rate: Measures poverty for each person in each month of a...

    This report uses data from the 1993 SIPP panel to examine poverty from October 1992 through December 1995. SIPP allows us to examine both the static and dynamic aspects of poverty, thereby providing a richer picture than the one drawn by the Current Population Survey (CPS), the survey currently used for official poverty rates. The CPS provides only a single static snapshot of poverty for the population. SIPP’s longitudinal data provide not only several static pictures but also several dynamic measures of movement into and out of poverty and poverty spells or duration. In addition, SIPP can also distinguish between short-term and long-term poverty. Unlike the CPS’ annual data, the SIPP uses monthly data to measure poverty; hence, the SIPP allows one to measure poverty on a monthly basis as well as for longer periods of time.

    The picture of poverty drawn by statistics depends partly on the type of statistics used. In this report we describe poverty using seven different measures:

    1. Average monthly poverty rate: Measures poverty for each person in each month of a calendar year, computes a total, and averages it for the year.
    2. Episodic poverty rate: Percent poor for two consecutive months or more in a given year or panel.
    3. Chronically poor: Percent poor for all of 1993 and 1994- a 2-year period.
    4. Annual rate: Percent poor in a given year based on total income for the year and poverty thresholds that reflect changes in household composition during the year.
    5. Poverty spells: Number of months in poverty for those who are not poor the first interview month, but become poor at some point in the panel.
    6. Entry rate: Percent of people who were not poor during 1993 but were poor in 1994 using the annual rate given above.
    7. Exit rate: Percent of people who were poor during 1993 but were not poor in 1994 using the annual rate given above.

    (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Seefeldt, Kristin S.; Kaye, Laura K.; Botsko, Christopher; Holcomb, Pamela A.; Flores, Kimura; Herbig, Carla; Tumlin, Karen C.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    This report focuses on the baseline conditions of cash assistance and social services in the state of Wisconsin in 1996 and early 1997. Site visits were conducted in March and April of 1997, at which time Wisconsin's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) plan, as authorized under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), was approved by the federal government, and the state was preparing to implement its welfare replacement program, Wisconsin Works (W-2). (author introduction)

    This report focuses on the baseline conditions of cash assistance and social services in the state of Wisconsin in 1996 and early 1997. Site visits were conducted in March and April of 1997, at which time Wisconsin's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) plan, as authorized under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), was approved by the federal government, and the state was preparing to implement its welfare replacement program, Wisconsin Works (W-2). (author introduction)

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