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
Older Workers, Retirement, and the Great Recession Richard W. Johnson

Older Workers, Retirement, and the Great Recession

Author: Richard W. Johnson
Publisher:
Date: 10/2012

The workforce in the United States is becoming ever older. Because the number of older workers is growing, and because work is increasingly important to older adults, it is worth examining how older workers are faring in the Great Recession. This brief reports on employment, unemployment, and labor force participation among older workers since 2007, just before the labor market collapsed. It focuses on workers age 62 or older, nearly all of whom qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, an important safety net if laid off. However, it also examines outcomes for workers as young as age 50, whom employers appear somewhat reluctant to hire.

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
Using Discontinuous Eligibility Rules to Identify the Effects of the Federal Medicaid Expansions David Card and Lara D. Shore-Sheppard

Using Discontinuous Eligibility Rules to Identify the Effects of the Federal Medicaid Expansions

Author: David Card and Lara D. Shore-Sheppard
Publisher: Review of Economic and Statistics
Date:

safety net - CPI Affiliates

Isabela Mares's picture Isabela Mares Professor of Political Science; Victoria Schuck Faculty Scholar
Columbia University
Jan O. Jonsson's picture Jan O. Jonsson Official Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford University
Oxford University
Janet Currie Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs; Chair, Department of Economics; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; Director, Center for Health and Well Being
Princeton University
Jeffrey Grogger Irving Harris Professor in Urban Policy
The University of Chicago
Jeffrey R. Kling's picture Jeffrey R. Kling Associate Director for Economic Analysis, Congressional Budget Office; Senior Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
Congressional Budget Office

Pages

Safety Net - Other Research

Title Author Media
Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis Peter B. Doeringer and Michael J. Piore

Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis

Author: Peter B. Doeringer and Michael J. Piore
Publisher: M E Sharpe, Inc
Date:
The Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity Michael J. Piore and Charles F. Sabel

The Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity

Author: Michael J. Piore and Charles F. Sabel
Publisher: Basic Books, Inc.
Date:
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:
Differences and Changes in Wage Structures

Differences and Changes in Wage Structures

Author:
Publisher: University of Chicago 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

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