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
Health, Mental Health, and the Great Recession Sarah Burgard

Health, Mental Health, and the Great Recession

Author: Sarah Burgard
Publisher: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Date: 10/2012

Are we experiencing a "health recession"? While many think the impacts of the Great Recession are mostly confined to the labor and housing markets, the recession may also have taken a toll on health and wellbeing. In assessing such health impacts, it's important to distinguish between direct and indirect effects, the former pertaining to the health of those who are directly impacted by recession-induced negative events, such as unemployment, and the latter pertaining to the more diffuse behavioral changes that a recession may bring about among the general population. For example, the recession might reduce the amount of discretionary driving (to save on fuel costs), with the indirect result being fewer accidents.

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
Genetic Structure of Human Populations Noah A. Rosenberg et al.

Genetic Structure of Human Populations

Author: Noah A. Rosenberg et al.
Publisher:
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
Divergent Paths: Economic Mobility in the New American Labor Market Martina Morris, Mark Stephen Handcock, Marc A....

Divergent Paths: Economic Mobility in the New American Labor Market

Author: Martina Morris, Mark Stephen Handcock, Marc A....
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Date:
The Dual Economy Averitt, Robert T.

The Dual Economy

Author: Averitt, Robert T.
Publisher: New York: Norton
Date:
Hard Choices: How Women Decide about Work, Career, and Motherhood Kathleen Gerson

Hard Choices: How Women Decide about Work, Career, and Motherhood

Author: Kathleen Gerson
Publisher: University of California Press
Date:
The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith

The Wealth of Nations

Author: Adam Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date:
America Unequal Sheldon Danziger and Peter Gottschalk

America Unequal

Author: Sheldon Danziger and Peter Gottschalk
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Date:

Safety Net - Multimedia

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