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
Pharmaceuticals and the Developing World Michael Kremer

Pharmaceuticals and the Developing World

Author: Michael Kremer
Publisher: Journal of Economic Perspectives
Date:
The Epidemiology of Social Stress Turner, Jay R., Blair Wheaton and Donald A. Lloyd

The Epidemiology of Social Stress

Author: Turner, Jay R., Blair Wheaton and Donald A. Lloyd
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:
Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes Anne Case and Christina Paxson

Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes

Author: Anne Case and Christina Paxson
Publisher: Journal of Political Economy
Date:
Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce Charles, Kerwin Kofi and Stephens, Melvin Jr.

Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce

Author: Charles, Kerwin Kofi and Stephens, Melvin Jr.
Publisher: Journal of Labor Economics
Date:
Why Genes Don’t Count (for Racial Differences in Health) Alan H. Goodman

Why Genes Don’t Count (for Racial Differences in Health)

Author: Alan H. Goodman
Publisher:
Date:

safety net - CPI Affiliates

Yu-Ling Chang Assistant Professor of Social Welfare
University of California, Berkeley
Michael S. Wald's picture Michael S. Wald Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law, Emeritus, Professor (by courtesy) of Education
Stanford University
Michele Landis Dauber's picture Michele Landis Dauber Frederick I. Richman Professor of Law; Professor of Sociology (by courtesy)
Stanford University
Thomas E. MaCurdy's picture Thomas E. MaCurdy Professor of Economics; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Stanford University
Cybelle Fox's picture Cybelle Fox Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Berkeley

Pages

Safety Net - Other Research

Title Author Media
America Unequal Sheldon Danziger and Peter Gottschalk

America Unequal

Author: Sheldon Danziger and Peter Gottschalk
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Date:
A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market Edna Bonacich

A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market

Author: Edna Bonacich
Publisher:
Date:

An important source of antagonism between ethnic groups is hypothesized to be a split labor market, i.e. one in which there is a large differential in price of labor for the same occupation. The price of labor is not a response to race or ethnicity of those entering the labor market. A price differential results from differences in resources and motives which are often correlates of ethnicity. A split labor market produces a three-way conflict between business and the two labor groups, with business seeking to displace higher paid by cheaper labor. Ethnic antagonism can take two forms: exclusion movements and "caste" systems. Both are seen as victories for higher paid labor since they prevent undercutting.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Date:

Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job - any job - can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity - a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival.

Punishment and Inequality in America Bruce Western

Punishment and Inequality in America

Author: Bruce Western
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Date:
Understanding the Gender Gap Claudia Goldin

Understanding the Gender Gap

Author: Claudia Goldin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date:

Safety Net - Multimedia

Sorry, but no media items exist for this research group.