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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: Nord, Mark; Cook, Peggy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1995

    Proposed changes in poverty measurement methods would lower the nonmetro poverty rate by 3 percentage points and raise the metro poverty rate by 1 percentage point. The resulting nonmetro poverty rate would be lower than the metro rate, reversing the historic rural poverty gap. Measured poverty would decline by 4 percentage points in the nonmetro South and by more than 10 percentage points for nonmetro blacks. The adjustment for cost of housing accounts for most of the metro-nonmetro difference between the current and proposed measures. (author abstract)

    Proposed changes in poverty measurement methods would lower the nonmetro poverty rate by 3 percentage points and raise the metro poverty rate by 1 percentage point. The resulting nonmetro poverty rate would be lower than the metro rate, reversing the historic rural poverty gap. Measured poverty would decline by 4 percentage points in the nonmetro South and by more than 10 percentage points for nonmetro blacks. The adjustment for cost of housing accounts for most of the metro-nonmetro difference between the current and proposed measures. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ozawa, Martha N.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1995

    Initially a program to relieve the burdens of the social security tax on low-income taxpayers, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is rapidly becoming a major income support program for the working poor and their families.  This article discusses the effects of the EITC on the income status and work incentives of welfare families in New York City and Texas, assesses the distributive effect of the EITC, and investigates the extent to which the EITC helps welfare families escape poverty through work.  It then places the EITC in a broader policy perspective, describing its ripple effects on this country's treatment of the working poor versus the nonworking poor, support of children, and attempts to cope with the increasing disparity in the incomes of high-wage and low-wage workers. (author abstract)

    Initially a program to relieve the burdens of the social security tax on low-income taxpayers, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is rapidly becoming a major income support program for the working poor and their families.  This article discusses the effects of the EITC on the income status and work incentives of welfare families in New York City and Texas, assesses the distributive effect of the EITC, and investigates the extent to which the EITC helps welfare families escape poverty through work.  It then places the EITC in a broader policy perspective, describing its ripple effects on this country's treatment of the working poor versus the nonworking poor, support of children, and attempts to cope with the increasing disparity in the incomes of high-wage and low-wage workers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gordon, Linda
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1994

    When Americans denounce "welfare", most are thinking of the program of aid for single mothers and their children--the only program of the Social Security Act to become stigmatized. Gordon uncovers the tangled roots of competing visions of welfare and shows that welfare reform can only work if it recognizes that single motherhood is an enduring aspect of contemporary life. (publisher abstract)

    When Americans denounce "welfare", most are thinking of the program of aid for single mothers and their children--the only program of the Social Security Act to become stigmatized. Gordon uncovers the tangled roots of competing visions of welfare and shows that welfare reform can only work if it recognizes that single motherhood is an enduring aspect of contemporary life. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jencks, Christopher
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1994

    How widespread is homelessness, how did it happen, and what can be done about it? These are the questions explored by Christopher Jencks, America’s foremost analyst of social problems. Jencks examines the standard explanations and finds that the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, the invention of crack cocaine, rising joblessness among men, declining marriage rates, cuts in welfare benefits, and the destruction of skid row have all played a role. Changes in the housing market have had less impact than many claim, however, and real federal housing subsidies actually doubled during the 1980s. Not confining his mission to studying the homeless, Jencks proposes several practical approaches to helping the homeless. (author abstract)

    How widespread is homelessness, how did it happen, and what can be done about it? These are the questions explored by Christopher Jencks, America’s foremost analyst of social problems. Jencks examines the standard explanations and finds that the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, the invention of crack cocaine, rising joblessness among men, declining marriage rates, cuts in welfare benefits, and the destruction of skid row have all played a role. Changes in the housing market have had less impact than many claim, however, and real federal housing subsidies actually doubled during the 1980s. Not confining his mission to studying the homeless, Jencks proposes several practical approaches to helping the homeless. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Caskey, John P.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1994

    In today's world of electronic cash transfers, automated teller machines, and credit cards, the image of the musty, junk-laden pawnshop seems a relic of the past. But it is not. The 1980s witnessed a tremendous boom in pawnbroking. There are now more pawnshops than ever before in U.S. history, and they are found not only in large cities but in towns and suburbs throughout the nation. As John Caskey demonstrates in Fringe Banking, the increased public patronage of both pawnshops and commercial check-cashing outlets signals the growing number of American households now living on a cash-only basis, with no connection to any mainstream credit facilities or banking services.

    Fringe Banking is the first comprehensive study of pawnshops and check-cashing outlets, profiling their operations, customers, and recent growth from family-owned shops to such successful outlet chains as Cash American and ACE America's Cash Express. It explains why, despite interest rates and fees substantially higher than those of banks, their use has so dramatically increased. According to Caskey,...

    In today's world of electronic cash transfers, automated teller machines, and credit cards, the image of the musty, junk-laden pawnshop seems a relic of the past. But it is not. The 1980s witnessed a tremendous boom in pawnbroking. There are now more pawnshops than ever before in U.S. history, and they are found not only in large cities but in towns and suburbs throughout the nation. As John Caskey demonstrates in Fringe Banking, the increased public patronage of both pawnshops and commercial check-cashing outlets signals the growing number of American households now living on a cash-only basis, with no connection to any mainstream credit facilities or banking services.

    Fringe Banking is the first comprehensive study of pawnshops and check-cashing outlets, profiling their operations, customers, and recent growth from family-owned shops to such successful outlet chains as Cash American and ACE America's Cash Express. It explains why, despite interest rates and fees substantially higher than those of banks, their use has so dramatically increased. According to Caskey, declining family earnings, changing family structures, a growing immigrant population, and lack of household budgeting skills has greatly reduced the demand for bank deposit services among millions of Americans. In addition, banks responded to 1980s regulatory changes by increasing fees on deposit accounts with small balances and closing branches in many poor urban areas.

    These factors combined to leave many low- and moderate-income families without access to checking privileges, credit services, and bank loans. Pawnshops and check-cashing outlets provide such families with essential financial services they cannot obtain elsewhere. Caskey notes that fringe banks, particularly check-cashing outlets, are also utilized by families who could participate in the formal banking system, but are willing to pay more for convenience and quick access to cash. Caskey argues that, contrary to their historical reputation as predators milking the poor and desperate, pawnshops and check-cashing outlets play a key financial role for disadvantaged groups. Citing the inconsistent and often unenforced state laws currently governing the industry, Fringe Banking challenges policy makers to design regulations that will allow fringe banks to remain profitable without exploiting the customers who depend on them. (author abstract) 

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