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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: Burch, Traci
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Mass imprisonment is one of the most important policy changes the United States has seen in the past forty years. In 2011, 1.6 million people, or 1 in 200 adults, in the U.S. were in prison (Guerino, Harrison, and Sabol 2011). Understanding the factors that affect neighborhood imprisonment rates is particularly important for improving the quality of life in disadvantaged communities. This paper examines the impact of one such factor, racial residential segregation, on imprisonment rates at the neighborhood level. Key to the strength of this enterprise are block-group level data on imprisonment, crime, and other demographic factors collected from state boards of elections, departments of corrections, departments of public health and the Census Bureau for 2000 for about 5,000 neighborhoods in North Carolina. These data also include information on county racial residential segregation from the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. Never before has such a comprehensive data collection been undertaken to determine the causal influence of racial residential...

    Mass imprisonment is one of the most important policy changes the United States has seen in the past forty years. In 2011, 1.6 million people, or 1 in 200 adults, in the U.S. were in prison (Guerino, Harrison, and Sabol 2011). Understanding the factors that affect neighborhood imprisonment rates is particularly important for improving the quality of life in disadvantaged communities. This paper examines the impact of one such factor, racial residential segregation, on imprisonment rates at the neighborhood level. Key to the strength of this enterprise are block-group level data on imprisonment, crime, and other demographic factors collected from state boards of elections, departments of corrections, departments of public health and the Census Bureau for 2000 for about 5,000 neighborhoods in North Carolina. These data also include information on county racial residential segregation from the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. Never before has such a comprehensive data collection been undertaken to determine the causal influence of racial residential segregation on mass imprisonment. These uniquely detailed and up-to-date data allow for precise regression analyses at the neighborhood level. The findings indicate that racial residential segregation dramatically affects neighborhood imprisonment rates. Hierarchical linear models that control for neighborhood characteristics such as racial diversity, crime, poverty, unemployment, median income, homeownership, and other factors show that neighborhoods in more segregated counties have higher imprisonment rates than neighborhoods in less segregated counties, all other factors being equal. On average, the difference in imprisonment between neighborhoods in counties with segregation levels of 0 and counties with segregation levels of 100 is about half of a percentage point or slightly more than one standard deviation.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Smeeding, Timothy M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    The fundamental concept of poverty concerns itself with having too few resources or capabilities to participate fully in a society. Social scientists need to first establish the breadth and depth of the social phenomenon called "poverty" before they can meaningfully analyze it and explore its ultimate causes and remedies. In this chapter, we examine the complexities and idiosyncrasies of poverty measurement from its origins to current practice. We begin with the various concepts of poverty and its measurement and how economists, social statisticians, public policy scholars, sociologists, and other social scientists have contributed to this literature. We then turn to a few empirical estimates of poverty across and within nations. We rely mainly on income data from rich and middle-income nations to provide perspectives on levels and trends in overall poverty, though we refer also to the World Bank's measures of global absolute poverty. In our empirical examinations we look at comparisons of trends in relative poverty over different time periods, and comparisons of relative and...

    The fundamental concept of poverty concerns itself with having too few resources or capabilities to participate fully in a society. Social scientists need to first establish the breadth and depth of the social phenomenon called "poverty" before they can meaningfully analyze it and explore its ultimate causes and remedies. In this chapter, we examine the complexities and idiosyncrasies of poverty measurement from its origins to current practice. We begin with the various concepts of poverty and its measurement and how economists, social statisticians, public policy scholars, sociologists, and other social scientists have contributed to this literature. We then turn to a few empirical estimates of poverty across and within nations. We rely mainly on income data from rich and middle-income nations to provide perspectives on levels and trends in overall poverty, though we refer also to the World Bank's measures of global absolute poverty. In our empirical examinations we look at comparisons of trends in relative poverty over different time periods, and comparisons of relative and anchored poverty across the Great Recession. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Plotnick, Robert D.; Meyers, Marcia K.; Romich, Jennifer; Rathgeb Smith, Steven
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2011

    The way Americans live and work has changed significantly since the creation of the Social Security Administration in 1935, but U.S. social welfare policy has failed to keep up with these changes. The model of the male breadwinner-led nuclear family has given way to diverse and often complex family structures, more women in the workplace, and nontraditional job arrangements. Old Assumptions, New Realities identifies the tensions between twentieth-century social policy and twenty-first-century realities for working Americans and offers promising new reforms for ensuring social and economic security.

    Old Assumptions, New Realities focuses on policy solutions for today’s workers—particularly low-skilled workers and low-income families. Contributor Jacob Hacker makes strong and timely arguments for universal health insurance and universal 401(k) retirement accounts. Michael Stoll argues that job training and workforce development programs can mitigate the effects of declining wages caused by deindustrialization, technological changes, racial discrimination,...

    The way Americans live and work has changed significantly since the creation of the Social Security Administration in 1935, but U.S. social welfare policy has failed to keep up with these changes. The model of the male breadwinner-led nuclear family has given way to diverse and often complex family structures, more women in the workplace, and nontraditional job arrangements. Old Assumptions, New Realities identifies the tensions between twentieth-century social policy and twenty-first-century realities for working Americans and offers promising new reforms for ensuring social and economic security.

    Old Assumptions, New Realities focuses on policy solutions for today’s workers—particularly low-skilled workers and low-income families. Contributor Jacob Hacker makes strong and timely arguments for universal health insurance and universal 401(k) retirement accounts. Michael Stoll argues that job training and workforce development programs can mitigate the effects of declining wages caused by deindustrialization, technological changes, racial discrimination, and other forms of job displacement. Michael Sherraden maintains that wealth-building accounts for children—similar to state college savings plans—and universal and progressive savings accounts for workers can be invaluable strategies for all workers, including the poorest. Jody Heymann and Alison Earle underscore the potential for more extensive work-family policies to help the United States remain competitive in a globalized economy. Finally, Jodi Sandfort suggests that the United States can restructure the existing safety net via state-level reforms but only with a host of coordinated efforts, including better information to service providers, budget analyses, new funding sources, and oversight by intermediary service professionals.

    Old Assumptions, New Realities picks up where current policies leave off by examining what’s not working, why, and how the safety net can be redesigned to work better. The book brings much-needed clarity to the process of creating viable policy solutions that benefit all working Americans.  (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Old Assumptions, New Realities - Marcia K. Meyers, Robert D. Plotnick, and Jennifer Romich

    Chapter 2: Working Families at Risk: Understanding and Confronting the New Economic Insecurity - Jacob S. Hacker

    Chapter 3: Workforce Development and Public Policy: Addressing New Realities in Low-Skill Labor Markets - Michael A. Stoll

    Chapter 4: Creating Opportunity at the Bottom: The Role of Skill Development and Firm-Level Policies in Improving Outcomes for Low-Wage Employees - Paul Osterman

    Chapter 5: Asset-Based Policies and Financial Services: Toward Fairness and Inclusion - Michael Sherraden

    Chapter 6: Ensuring That Americans Can Succeed at Home and at Work in a Global Economy - Jody Heymann and Alison Earle

    Chapter 7: Nonprofit Helping Hands for the Working Poor: New Realities and Challenges for Today’s Safety Net - Scott W. Allard

    Chapter 8: Reconstituting the Safety Net: New Principles and Design Elements to Better Support Low-Income Workers - Jodi R. Sandfort

  • Individual Author: Murray, Charles
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    It may be said with only a little exaggeration that policy analysts are happy describing the causes of problems while ignoring their solution, and politicians are happy proposing solutions to problems while ignoring their causes. At least, such is the case with poverty and income inequality. I fit the bill for the policy analyst, lacking any politically feasible solutions. But the articles of the three presidential candidates fit the bill too, written as if we have a set of solutions ready to go, awaiting only a chance, whether they be Hillary Clinton’s home visitation program that produces 56 percent fewer arrests among participants than nonparticipants, Barack Obama’s Harlem Children’s Zone that is “literally saving a generation of children in a neighborhood where they were never supposed to have a chance,” or John Edwards’s million government created “stepping stone jobs” that will get unemployed young men into work.  

    Variants of all such remedies have been tried repeatedly since 1964. They typically were greeted with early and well publicized claims of success. When...

    It may be said with only a little exaggeration that policy analysts are happy describing the causes of problems while ignoring their solution, and politicians are happy proposing solutions to problems while ignoring their causes. At least, such is the case with poverty and income inequality. I fit the bill for the policy analyst, lacking any politically feasible solutions. But the articles of the three presidential candidates fit the bill too, written as if we have a set of solutions ready to go, awaiting only a chance, whether they be Hillary Clinton’s home visitation program that produces 56 percent fewer arrests among participants than nonparticipants, Barack Obama’s Harlem Children’s Zone that is “literally saving a generation of children in a neighborhood where they were never supposed to have a chance,” or John Edwards’s million government created “stepping stone jobs” that will get unemployed young men into work.  

    Variants of all such remedies have been tried repeatedly since 1964. They typically were greeted with early and well publicized claims of success. When the technical evaluations were published (and seldom publicized), it turned out that the early successes were temporary or that they never really existed. It was this monotonous pattern that led Peter Rossi, the nation’s leading scholar in the evaluation of social programs, to formulate Rossi’s Iron Law of Program Evaluation: “The expected value of any net impact assessment of any large scale social program is zero.”

    The cycle of optimistic promises and zero results will repeat itself, because once again the politicians are ignoring causes that don’t fit the way they want the world to be. In the case of poverty, they ignore the causal role of the failure to marry. In the case of increasing income inequality, they ignore the causal role of the rising market value of brains. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Bailey, Martha J.; Danziger, Sheldon
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2013

    The War on Poverty initiated a new era of direct federal involvement in schools, hospitals, labor markets, and neighborhoods. This involvement engendered considerable controversy but has left a large footprint on the conceptualization, design, and implementation of antipoverty, social, and health policies; American politics; racial inequalities; and social science research. The chapters in this volume document many of the War on Poverty’s lasting legacies. Programs and policies enacted during this era influenced antipoverty legislation well into the 1970s when two major antipoverty programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), were enacted. This era’s programs and policies continue to define the social and health safety net today. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    1. Legacies of the War on Poverty/ Martha J. Bailey and Sheldon Danziger

    Part I: Increasing Human Capital, Employment, and Earnings

    2. Head Start Origins and Impacts/ Chloe Gibbs, Jens Ludwig, and Douglas L. Miller

    3. The K-12...

    The War on Poverty initiated a new era of direct federal involvement in schools, hospitals, labor markets, and neighborhoods. This involvement engendered considerable controversy but has left a large footprint on the conceptualization, design, and implementation of antipoverty, social, and health policies; American politics; racial inequalities; and social science research. The chapters in this volume document many of the War on Poverty’s lasting legacies. Programs and policies enacted during this era influenced antipoverty legislation well into the 1970s when two major antipoverty programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), were enacted. This era’s programs and policies continue to define the social and health safety net today. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    1. Legacies of the War on Poverty/ Martha J. Bailey and Sheldon Danziger

    Part I: Increasing Human Capital, Employment, and Earnings

    2. Head Start Origins and Impacts/ Chloe Gibbs, Jens Ludwig, and Douglas L. Miller

    3. The K-12 Education Battle/ Elizabeth Cascio and Sarah Reber

    4. Supporting Access to Higher Education/ Bridget Terry Long

    5. Workforce Development Programs/ Harry J. Holzer

    Part II: Raising Incomes and Living Standards

    6. The Safety Net for Families with Children/ Jane Waldfogel

    7. The Safety Net for the Elderly/ Kathleen McGarry

    8. Performance and Legacy of Housing Policies/ Edgar O. Olsen and Jens Ludwig

    Part III: Improving Access to Medical Care and Health

    9. Health Programs for Non-Elderly Adults and Children/ Barbara Wolfe

    10. Medicare and Medicaid/ Katherine Swartz

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