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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: Besharov, Douglas J.; Germanis, Peter
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    In this volume, Glenn Loury, a professor of economics and director of the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University, assesses the research evidence on the effectiveness of five projects that sought to reduce subsequent births to mothers on welfare. The first two involved family caps on welfare benefits: the Arkansas Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project and the New Jersey Family Development Program. The second two involved enhanced family-planning services as part of broader interventions for teen parents: the New Chance Demonstration and the Teenage Parent Demonstration. The last one involved "authoritative" or "directive" counseling within a nurse home-visitor program: the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home-Visitation Program. Loury also examines the Dollar-a-Day program, which involved positive financial incentives for young mothers who did not become pregnant....

    In addition to Loury's paper, this volume contains a detailed assessment of the New Jersey study by Peter Rossi, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); it also...

    In this volume, Glenn Loury, a professor of economics and director of the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University, assesses the research evidence on the effectiveness of five projects that sought to reduce subsequent births to mothers on welfare. The first two involved family caps on welfare benefits: the Arkansas Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project and the New Jersey Family Development Program. The second two involved enhanced family-planning services as part of broader interventions for teen parents: the New Chance Demonstration and the Teenage Parent Demonstration. The last one involved "authoritative" or "directive" counseling within a nurse home-visitor program: the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home-Visitation Program. Loury also examines the Dollar-a-Day program, which involved positive financial incentives for young mothers who did not become pregnant....

    In addition to Loury's paper, this volume contains a detailed assessment of the New Jersey study by Peter Rossi, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); it also offers three comments from people closely associated with that project and other analysts: Michael Camasso at the School of Social Work and Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University (and his colleagues); Michael Laracy, a senior program associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and David Murray, director of research at the Statistical Assessment Service. Some of their comments support Loury's and Rossi's assessments, and some do not. This volume also includes an analysis of the New Jersey study from the Congressional Research Service. All of these materials are appended to this report so that readers can make their own judgements.

    Finally, this volume contains a paper by Michael Wiseman that presents the California estimates described above. Wiseman uses a longitudinal database to estimate the number of subsequent births to California welfare mothers in 1995, including an estimate of those who would have been subject to the family cap had that policy been in effect at that time. He finds that a significant number of children would have been subject to the family cap had it been in effect in 1995, and he provides estimates for the rate at which the number of children affected grows over time. His estimates highlight the importance of the issue. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Isaacs, Julia; Andrews, Margaret S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This study compares the Food Stamp Program (FSP) with eight other public assistance programs across four measures of program effectiveness—administrative costs, error payments, program access, and benefit targeting. The comparison includes two other USDA nutrition assistance programs, three cash assistance programs, and three programs providing noncash benefits other than food or nutrition assistance. Results show that the FSP and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) present contrasting patterns. The EITC program has lower administrative costs and higher program access rates than the FSP, but the FSP is more successful in limiting overpayments. Missing information makes it hard to generalize across the other programs, but there is some evidence suggesting that programs with higher errors have lower administrative costs. Low administrative costs also appear to be inversely associated with good program access for recipients. Also, programs that are more highly targeted tend to have higher benefit delivery costs. (author abstract)

    This study compares the Food Stamp Program (FSP) with eight other public assistance programs across four measures of program effectiveness—administrative costs, error payments, program access, and benefit targeting. The comparison includes two other USDA nutrition assistance programs, three cash assistance programs, and three programs providing noncash benefits other than food or nutrition assistance. Results show that the FSP and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) present contrasting patterns. The EITC program has lower administrative costs and higher program access rates than the FSP, but the FSP is more successful in limiting overpayments. Missing information makes it hard to generalize across the other programs, but there is some evidence suggesting that programs with higher errors have lower administrative costs. Low administrative costs also appear to be inversely associated with good program access for recipients. Also, programs that are more highly targeted tend to have higher benefit delivery costs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.; Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore; Duncan, Greg J.; Ludwig, Jens
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    This paper attempts to estimate the aggregate annual costs of child poverty to the US economy. It begins with a review of rigorous research studies that estimate the statistical association between children growing up in poverty and their earnings, propensity to commit crime, and quality of health later in life. We also review estimates of the costs that crime and poor health impose on the economy. Then we aggregate all of these average costs per poor child across the total number of children growing up in poverty in the United States to obtain our estimate of the aggregate costs of the conditions associated with childhood poverty to the US economy. Our results suggest that these costs total about $500 billion per year, or the equivalent of nearly 4% of gross domestic product (GDP). More specifically, we estimate that childhood poverty each year: (1) reduces productivity and economic output by an amount equal to 1.3% of GDP, (2) raises the costs of crime by 1.3% of GDP, and (3) raises health expenditures and reduces the value of health by 1.2% of GDP. (author abstract)

    ...

    This paper attempts to estimate the aggregate annual costs of child poverty to the US economy. It begins with a review of rigorous research studies that estimate the statistical association between children growing up in poverty and their earnings, propensity to commit crime, and quality of health later in life. We also review estimates of the costs that crime and poor health impose on the economy. Then we aggregate all of these average costs per poor child across the total number of children growing up in poverty in the United States to obtain our estimate of the aggregate costs of the conditions associated with childhood poverty to the US economy. Our results suggest that these costs total about $500 billion per year, or the equivalent of nearly 4% of gross domestic product (GDP). More specifically, we estimate that childhood poverty each year: (1) reduces productivity and economic output by an amount equal to 1.3% of GDP, (2) raises the costs of crime by 1.3% of GDP, and (3) raises health expenditures and reduces the value of health by 1.2% of GDP. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a working paper previously published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Sawhill, Isabel; Thomas, Adam; Monea, Emily
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    Isabel Sawhill, Adam Thomas, and Emily Monea believe that given the well-documented costs of nonmarital births to the children and parents in fragile families, as well as to society as a whole, policy makers' primary goal should be to reduce births to unmarried parents. The authors say that the nation's swiftly rising nonmarital birth rate has many explanations--a cultural shift toward acceptance of unwed childbearing; a lack of positive alternatives to motherhood among the less advantaged; a sense of fatalism or ambivalence about pregnancy; a lack of marriageable men; limited access to effective contraception; a lack of knowledge about contraception; and the difficulty of using contraception consistently and correctly. Noting that these explanations fall generally into three categories--motivation, knowledge, and access--the authors discuss policies designed to motivate individuals to avoid unintended pregnancies, to improve their knowledge about contraception, and to remove barriers to contraceptive access. Some motivational programs, such as media campaigns, have been...

    Isabel Sawhill, Adam Thomas, and Emily Monea believe that given the well-documented costs of nonmarital births to the children and parents in fragile families, as well as to society as a whole, policy makers' primary goal should be to reduce births to unmarried parents. The authors say that the nation's swiftly rising nonmarital birth rate has many explanations--a cultural shift toward acceptance of unwed childbearing; a lack of positive alternatives to motherhood among the less advantaged; a sense of fatalism or ambivalence about pregnancy; a lack of marriageable men; limited access to effective contraception; a lack of knowledge about contraception; and the difficulty of using contraception consistently and correctly. Noting that these explanations fall generally into three categories--motivation, knowledge, and access--the authors discuss policies designed to motivate individuals to avoid unintended pregnancies, to improve their knowledge about contraception, and to remove barriers to contraceptive access. Some motivational programs, such as media campaigns, have been effective in changing behavior. Some, but not all, sex education programs designed to reduce teen pregnancy have also been effective at reducing sexual activity or increasing contraceptive use, or both. Programs providing access to subsidized contraception have also been effective and would be even more so if they could increase the use not just of contraceptives, but of long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants. Finally, the authors present simulations of the costs and effects of three policy initiatives--a mass media campaign that encourages men to use condoms, a teen pregnancy prevention program that discourages sexual activity and educates participants about proper contraceptive use, and an expansion in access to Medicaid-subsidized contraception. All three have benefit-cost ratios that are comfortably greater than one, making them excellent social investments that can actually save taxpayer dollars. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: The Hamilton Project
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2014

    Millions of people live in poverty in this country. They suffer not only material deprivation, but also the hardships and diminished life prospects that come with being poor.

    Childhood poverty often means growing up without the advantages of a stable home, high-quality schools, or consistent nutrition. Adults in poverty are often hampered by inadequate skills and education, leading to limited wages and job opportunities. And the high costs of housing, healthcare, and other necessities often mean that people must choose between basic needs, sometimes forgoing essentials like meals or medicine. In recognition of these challenges, The Hamilton Project has commissioned fourteen innovative, evidence-based antipoverty proposals. These proposals are authored by a diverse set of leading scholars, each tackling a specific aspect of the poverty crisis. (author introduction)

     

    Table of Contents

    Section 1. Promoting Early Childhood Development

    Proposal 1. Expanding Preschool Access for Disadvantaged Children - Elizabeth U....

    Millions of people live in poverty in this country. They suffer not only material deprivation, but also the hardships and diminished life prospects that come with being poor.

    Childhood poverty often means growing up without the advantages of a stable home, high-quality schools, or consistent nutrition. Adults in poverty are often hampered by inadequate skills and education, leading to limited wages and job opportunities. And the high costs of housing, healthcare, and other necessities often mean that people must choose between basic needs, sometimes forgoing essentials like meals or medicine. In recognition of these challenges, The Hamilton Project has commissioned fourteen innovative, evidence-based antipoverty proposals. These proposals are authored by a diverse set of leading scholars, each tackling a specific aspect of the poverty crisis. (author introduction)

     

    Table of Contents

    Section 1. Promoting Early Childhood Development

    Proposal 1. Expanding Preschool Access for Disadvantaged Children - Elizabeth U. Cascio and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

    Proposal 2. Addressing the Parenting Divide to Promote Early Childhood Development for Disadvantaged Children - Ariel Kalil

    Proposal 3. Reducing Unintended Pregnancies for Low-Income Women - Isabel Sawhill and Joanna Venator

    Section 2. Supporting Disadvantaged Youth

    Proposal 4. Designing Effective Mentoring Programs for Disadvantaged Youth - Phillip B. Levine

    Proposal 5. Expanding Summer Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Youth - Amy Ellen Schwartz and Jacob Leos-Urbel

    Proposal 6. Addressing the Academic Barriers to Higher Education - Bridget Terry Long

    Section 3. Building Skills

    Proposal 7. Expanding Apprenticeship Opportunities in the United States - Robert I. Lerman

    Proposal 8. Improving Employment Outcomes for Disadvantaged Students - Harry J. Holzer

    Proposal 9. Providing Disadvantaged Workers with the Skills to Succeed in the Labor Market - Sheena McConnell, Irma Perez-Johnson, and Jillian Berk

    Section 4. Improving Safety Net and Work Support

    Proposal 10. Supporting Low-Income Workers Through Refundable Child-Care Credits - James P. Ziliak

    Proposal 11. Building on the Success of the Earned Income Tax Credit - Hilary Hoynes

    Proposal 12. Encouraging Work Sharing to Reduce Unemployment - Katharine G. Abraham and Susan N. Houseman

    Proposal 13. Designing Thoughtful Minimum Wage Policy at the State and Local Levels - Arindrajit Dube

    Proposal 14. Smarter, Better, Faster: The Potential for Predictive Analytics and Rapid-Cycle Evaluation to Improve Program Development and Outcomes - Scott Cody and Andrew Asher

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