Safety Net Use

  • Karen Jusko
  • Mark Duggan
  • Hilary Hoynes

Leaders: Mark Duggan, Hilary Hoynes, Karen Jusko

The Safety Net RG is devoted to monitoring changes in government transfers and anti-poverty programs and assessing whether they are meeting the needs of the poor. The U.S. safety net is undergoing such changes as (a) an ongoing decline in TANF cash benefits, (b) rapid increases in spending on EITC, Medicaid, Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, and SNAP, and (c) a dramatic shift toward spending that favors the “working poor” over the more destitute. The CPI affiliates working within this research group are monitoring these changes, examining their implications for poverty, assessing the effectiveness of key government and nongovernment programs in reducing poverty, and modeling the costs and benefits of possible changes in policy and programs. We’ve provided a sampling here of some of this ongoing research.

Poverty Relief Project: With Kate Weisshaar, Karen Jusko uses the poverty relief ratio to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs over time, across states, and across countries. Which state is the least effective in fighting poverty? Has the U.S. become more or less effective over time? These and other questions are answered in our latest State of the Union reports.

Long-run effects of SNAP: Have we underestimated the returns to SNAP by ignoring the long-run effects on children exposed to it in their early childhood? It’s now possible to find out.

California Welfare LaboratoryThe poverty rate in California, when measured with the Supplemental Poverty Measure, is the highest in the country. What can be done to bring that rate down? The mission of the California Welfare Laboratory is to make research on California’s welfare programs accessible to all and thus facilitate an informed discussion of what is working and what needs to be improved.

Differential EITC effects: It is often argued that early interventions have especially high payoffs.  Are the returns to the EITC indeed larger when it goes to parents with young children?

Disability and poverty: Does the federal government’s disability program reduce labor supply? Although it’s long been difficult to identify a causal effect, Mark Duggan has now found a way.

The effects of TANF: The TANF program is very decentralized and thus takes on dramatically different forms. How can we exploit that variability to find out what’s working?

Safety Net - CPI Research

Title Author Media
The Social Safety Net and the Great Recession Robert A. Moffitt

The Social Safety Net and the Great Recession

Author: Robert A. Moffitt
Publisher:
Date: 10/2012

As the economic downturn wears on, the debate about U.S. spending on the safety net has become increasingly rancorous. Indeed, former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich famously referred to Barack Obama as "the food stamp president" in the early-2012 campaign trail. The purpose of this recession brief is to step back from the rancor and describe in straightforward fashion how spending on the safety net has responded to the Great Recession.

Partisan Representation of the Poor: Electoral Geography, Strategic Mobilization, and Implications for Voter Turnout Karen Long Jusko

Partisan Representation of the Poor: Electoral Geography, Strategic Mobilization, and Implications for Voter Turnout

Author: Karen Long Jusko
Publisher:
Date: 01/2011

How do electoral rules affect the poor? When do parties have an incentive to stand as the party of low-income citizens? When will parties mobilize the electoral support of low-income voters? This discussion presents evidence that rates of turnout among,low-income citizens reflect legislators’ and parties’ electoral incentives to be responsive to the poor, and that these electoral incentives are determined by electoral geography – the joint geographic distribution of legislative seats and low-income voters across electoral districts. Further, this discussion demonstrates that under SMD electoral rules, low-income voters are more likely to vote in those electoral districts in which they are likely to be pivotal. By presenting a strategic mobilization account of voter turnout, this discussion breaks with current accounts of voter turnout that emphasize facilitative and motivational individual and system-level factors. Instead, this discussion argues that low-income voters’ turnout decisions, in fact, reflect parties’ electoral incentives to cultivate and mobilize a low-income constituency. 

Making Ends Meet Kathryn Edin, Laura Lein

Making Ends Meet

Author: Kathryn Edin, Laura Lein
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Date: 04/1997
Getting a Job Mark Granovetter

Getting a Job

Author: Mark Granovetter
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date: 03/1995
Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development Janet Currie

Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development

Author: Janet Currie
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date:

safety net - CPI Affiliates

Patrick Heuveline's picture Patrick Heuveline Professor, Sociology
University of California, Los Angeles
Peter J. Hammond's picture Peter J. Hammond Professor of Economics, University of Warwick; Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Stanford University
University of Warwick
Phillip Levine's picture Phillip Levine William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; Research Affiliate, National Poverty Center
Wellesley College
Robert Charles Lieberman's picture Robert Charles Lieberman Krieger-Eisenhower Professor, Department of Political Science
Johns Hopkins University
Stefan Svallfors's picture Stefan Svallfors Professor of Sociology; Chairman of Social Welfare Research; Professor in Sociology, Södertörn University; Research Director, Institute for Futures Studies
Umea University

Pages

Safety Net - Other Research

Title Author Media
Unemployment in the OECD since the 1960s. What Do We Know? Stephen Nickell, Luca Nunziata and Wolfgang Ochel

Unemployment in the OECD since the 1960s. What Do We Know?

Author: Stephen Nickell, Luca Nunziata and Wolfgang Ochel
Publisher: The Economic Journal
Date:
Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process under Monopoly Capitalism Michael Burawoy

Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process under Monopoly Capitalism

Author: Michael Burawoy
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date:
Employment Relationships in the New Economy David Neumark and Debbie Reed

Employment Relationships in the New Economy

Author: David Neumark and Debbie Reed
Publisher: Labour Economics
Date:
Securing Prosperity Paul Osterman

Securing Prosperity

Author: Paul Osterman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Date:
Governmental Constraints and Labor Market Mobility Abbott, A. and D.R. Smith

Governmental Constraints and Labor Market Mobility

Author: Abbott, A. and D.R. Smith
Publisher:
Date:

Safety Net - Multimedia

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