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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: Schaefer, H. Luke; Collyer, Sophie; Duncan, Greg; Edin, Kathryn; Garfinkel, Irwin; Harris, David; Smeeding, Timothy M.; Waldfogel, Jane; Wimer, Christopher; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    To reduce child poverty and income instability, and eliminate extreme poverty among families with children in the United States, we propose converting the Child Tax Credit and child tax exemption into a universal, monthly child allowance. Our proposal is based on principles we argue should undergird the design of such policies: universality, accessibility, adequate payment levels, and more generous support for young children. Whether benefits should decline with additional children to reflect economies of scale is a question policymakers should consider. Analyzing 2015 Current Population Survey data, we estimate our proposed child allowance would reduce child poverty by about 40 percent, deep child poverty by nearly half, and would effectively eliminate extreme child poverty. Annual net cost estimates range from $66 billion to $105 billion. (Author abstract)

    To reduce child poverty and income instability, and eliminate extreme poverty among families with children in the United States, we propose converting the Child Tax Credit and child tax exemption into a universal, monthly child allowance. Our proposal is based on principles we argue should undergird the design of such policies: universality, accessibility, adequate payment levels, and more generous support for young children. Whether benefits should decline with additional children to reflect economies of scale is a question policymakers should consider. Analyzing 2015 Current Population Survey data, we estimate our proposed child allowance would reduce child poverty by about 40 percent, deep child poverty by nearly half, and would effectively eliminate extreme child poverty. Annual net cost estimates range from $66 billion to $105 billion. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bitler, Marianne P.; Hines, Annie Laurie; Page, Marianne
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Although a growing number of studies suggest that providing poor families with income supplements of as little as $1,000 per year will improve children’s well-being, many poor children miss important sources of income support provided through the tax system because their parents either do not work or do not file taxes. Accessing assistance through means-tested programs is also challenging. We propose replacing the complicated array of benefits provided through the tax system with a universal child benefit of $2,000 per child that would be available regardless of parents’ work status. Our reform would ensure that all children receive enough assistance to make a difference and it would be simpler and more equitable than the current array of child benefits that are provided through the tax code. (Author abstract)

    Although a growing number of studies suggest that providing poor families with income supplements of as little as $1,000 per year will improve children’s well-being, many poor children miss important sources of income support provided through the tax system because their parents either do not work or do not file taxes. Accessing assistance through means-tested programs is also challenging. We propose replacing the complicated array of benefits provided through the tax system with a universal child benefit of $2,000 per child that would be available regardless of parents’ work status. Our reform would ensure that all children receive enough assistance to make a difference and it would be simpler and more equitable than the current array of child benefits that are provided through the tax code. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Herd, Pamela; Favreault, Melissa; Meyer, Madonna Harrington ; Smeeding, Timothy M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    In recent years, the big news in Social Security reform has been the program’s fiscal concerns. In light of concerns about both program costs and benefit adequacy, we propose an effective and relatively inexpensive targeted program to provide a minimally adequate floor to old-­age income through the Social Security system. This minimum benefit plan would provide a cost-­effective method for reducing elder poverty to very low levels. A key element is that the benefit would not count toward income eligibility thresholds for other social programs. Other aspects include an income-­tested benefit that would bring beneficiaries to 100 percent of the poverty threshold; application by filing of a 1040 income tax return; and setting of benefit levels and distribution through the Social Security Administration. (Author abstract)

    In recent years, the big news in Social Security reform has been the program’s fiscal concerns. In light of concerns about both program costs and benefit adequacy, we propose an effective and relatively inexpensive targeted program to provide a minimally adequate floor to old-­age income through the Social Security system. This minimum benefit plan would provide a cost-­effective method for reducing elder poverty to very low levels. A key element is that the benefit would not count toward income eligibility thresholds for other social programs. Other aspects include an income-­tested benefit that would bring beneficiaries to 100 percent of the poverty threshold; application by filing of a 1040 income tax return; and setting of benefit levels and distribution through the Social Security Administration. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Munoz Boudet, Ana Maria; Buitrago, Paola; Leroy de la Briere, Benedicte; Newhouse, David; Rubiano Matulevich, Eliana; Kinnon, Scott; Suarez-Becerra, Pablo
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This paper uses household surveys from 89 countries to look at gender differences in poverty in the developing world. In the absence of individual-level poverty data, the paper looks at what can we learn in terms of gender differences by looking at the available individual and household level information. The estimates are based on the same surveys and welfare measures as official World Bank poverty estimates. The paper focuses on the relationship between age, sex and poverty. And finds that, girls and women of reproductive age are more likely to live in poor households (below the international poverty line) than boys and men. It finds that 122 women between the ages of 25 and 34 live in poor households for every 100 men of the same age group. The analysis also examines the household profiles of the poor, seeking to go beyond headship definitions. Using a demographic household composition shows that nuclear family households of two married adults and children account for 41 percent of poor households, and are the most frequent household where poor women are found. Using an...

    This paper uses household surveys from 89 countries to look at gender differences in poverty in the developing world. In the absence of individual-level poverty data, the paper looks at what can we learn in terms of gender differences by looking at the available individual and household level information. The estimates are based on the same surveys and welfare measures as official World Bank poverty estimates. The paper focuses on the relationship between age, sex and poverty. And finds that, girls and women of reproductive age are more likely to live in poor households (below the international poverty line) than boys and men. It finds that 122 women between the ages of 25 and 34 live in poor households for every 100 men of the same age group. The analysis also examines the household profiles of the poor, seeking to go beyond headship definitions. Using a demographic household composition shows that nuclear family households of two married adults and children account for 41 percent of poor households, and are the most frequent household where poor women are found. Using an economic household composition classification, households with a male earner, children and a non-income earner spouse are the most frequent among the poor at 36 percent, and the more frequent household where poor women live. For individuals, as well as for households, the presence of children increases the household likelihood to be poor, and this has a specific impact on women, but does not fully explain the observed female poverty penalty. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Hicks, Andrew L. ; Handcock, Mark S. ; Sastry, Narayan ; Pebley, Anne R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Prior research has suggested that children living in a disadvantaged neighborhood have lower achievement test scores, but these studies typically have not estimated causal effects that account for neighborhood choice. Recent studies used propensity score methods to account for the endogeneity of neighborhood exposures, comparing disadvantaged and nondisadvantaged neighborhoods. We develop an alternative propensity function approach in which cumulative neighborhood effects are modeled as a continuous treatment variable. This approach offers several advantages. We use our approach to examine the cumulative effects of neighborhood disadvantage on reading and math test scores in Los Angeles. Our substantive results indicate that recency of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods may be more important than average exposure for children’s test scores. We conclude that studies of child development should consider both average cumulative neighborhood exposure and the timing of this exposure. (Author abstract)

     

    Prior research has suggested that children living in a disadvantaged neighborhood have lower achievement test scores, but these studies typically have not estimated causal effects that account for neighborhood choice. Recent studies used propensity score methods to account for the endogeneity of neighborhood exposures, comparing disadvantaged and nondisadvantaged neighborhoods. We develop an alternative propensity function approach in which cumulative neighborhood effects are modeled as a continuous treatment variable. This approach offers several advantages. We use our approach to examine the cumulative effects of neighborhood disadvantage on reading and math test scores in Los Angeles. Our substantive results indicate that recency of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods may be more important than average exposure for children’s test scores. We conclude that studies of child development should consider both average cumulative neighborhood exposure and the timing of this exposure. (Author abstract)

     

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