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
Social Class Psychological Distress Kessler, Ronald C., and Paul D. Cleary

Social Class Psychological Distress

Author: Kessler, Ronald C., and Paul D. Cleary
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:
Health, Income, and Inequality John Mullahy, Stephanie Robert, and Barbara Wolfe

Health, Income, and Inequality

Author: John Mullahy, Stephanie Robert, and Barbara Wolfe
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation Publications
Date:
Racial Profiling In Medical Research Robert S. Schwartz

Racial Profiling In Medical Research

Author: Robert S. Schwartz
Publisher:
Date:
Age, Socioeconomic Status and Obesity Growth Charles L. Baum and Christopher J. Ruhm

Age, Socioeconomic Status and Obesity Growth

Author: Charles L. Baum and Christopher J. Ruhm
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date:
Poverty, Parenting and Children’s Mental Health McLeod, Jane .D. and Michael .J. Shanahan

Poverty, Parenting and Children’s Mental Health

Author: McLeod, Jane .D. and Michael .J. Shanahan
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:

safety net - CPI Affiliates

Julie-Berry Cullen Professor of Economics, Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
University of California, San Diego
Kathleen Gerson's picture Kathleen Gerson Professor of Sociology
New York University
Kazuo Yamaguchi's picture Kazuo Yamaguchi Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology; Affiliated Faculty, The Center for East Asian Studies
University of Chicago
Magnus Nermo's picture Magnus Nermo Professor of Sociology; Head of the Sociology Department; Associate Researcher at the Swedish Institute for Social Research
Stockholm University
Margarita Estevez-Abe's picture Margarita Estevez-Abe Associate Professor of Political Science, Maxwell School
Syracuse University

Pages

Safety Net - Other Research

Title Author Media
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.

Changes in Labor Force Participation in the United States Juhn Chinhui and Simon Potter

Changes in Labor Force Participation in the United States

Author: Juhn Chinhui and Simon Potter
Publisher: Journal of Economic Perspectives
Date:
Securing Prosperity Paul Osterman

Securing Prosperity

Author: Paul Osterman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Date:
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.

Job Loss at Mid-life: Managers and Executives Face the “New Risk Economy Ruby Mendenhall, Ariel Kalil, Laurel J. Spindel,...

Job Loss at Mid-life: Managers and Executives Face the “New Risk Economy

Author: Ruby Mendenhall, Ariel Kalil, Laurel J. Spindel,...
Publisher: Social Forces
Date:

Safety Net - Multimedia

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