Category Archives: Reports

New Report (from the White House): “2014 Native Youth Report”

DSC_0351New Report (from the White House): “2014 Native Youth Report” (2014).  [Largely about socioeconomic issues and educational problems.]

New Report: “The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles”

New Report: Richard Rothstein, The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles (Economic Policy Institute 2014).

New Report: “Concentration of Poverty in the New Millennium: Changes in the Prevalence, Composition, and Location of High-Poverty Neighborhoods”

CoverNew Report: Paul Jargowsky, Concentration of Poverty in the New Millennium: Changes in the Prevalence, Composition, and Location of High-Poverty Neighborhoods (2013).  Abstract below:

Concentration of Poverty in the New Millennium, authored by TCF fellow and CURE director Paul A. Jargowsky, is the first to compare the 2000 census data with the 2007-11 American Community Survey (ACS), revealing the extent to which concentrated poverty has returned to, and in some ways exceeded, the previous peak level in 1990.

[NOTE: Updated figures for the 2008–2012 period are available here.]

Concentrated poverty is defined as census tracts where more than 40 percent of households live below the federal poverty threshold, currently set at approximately $23,000 per year for a family of four.

“In the USA, there are now more census tracts of concentrated poverty than have ever been recorded before, resulting in more than 11 million Americans, or 4 percent of the population, living in severely distressed neighborhoods,” said Jargowsky.

“The increase in concentrated poverty was highest in the Midwest, which experienced a 132 percent increase in the number of people living in high poverty neighborhoods, to 2.7 million; followed by the South, which suffered a 66 percent increase to 4.6 million.”

The Century Foundation/CURE report further reveals that the most significant increases in concentrated poverty occurred., not in the major cities, but rather in small to mid-sized metropolitan areas.

New Report: “State of the Nation’s Housing 2014″

son_2014_coverNew Report: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, State of the Nation’s Housing 2014 (2014).  [Note: the link takes you to the main page and from there you can open the whole report or individual sections.]

New Report: “Poverty in the United States: 2013″

New Report: Thomas Gabe (Congressional Research Services), Poverty in the United States: 2013 (Sept. 25, 2014).

-Thanks to Susan Lewis and Billie Jo Kaufman for the heads up!

New Census Poverty and Health Coverage Statistics / Reports

This year what was a single report is broken into two reports:

CensusCarmen DeNavas-Walt and Bernadette D. Proctor, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013 (Census Bureau 2014).

Jessica C. Smith and Carla Medalia, Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013 (Census Bureau 2014).

New Report: “Accessing Justice in the Contemporary USA: Findings from the Community Needs and Services Study”

New Report: Rebecca L. Sandefur, Accessing Justice in the Contemporary USA: Findings from the Community Needs and Services Study (American Bar Foundation 2014).  Abstract from SSRN below:

A new study of the civil justice experiences of the American public, the Community Needs and Services Study, finds widespread incidence of events and situations that have civil legal aspects, raise civil legal issues and are potentially actionable under civil law. Most are handled outside the context of the formal justice system. These events are common and can be severe in their impacts. People experiencing these situations typically do not receive assistance from lawyers or other formal third parties.

In 2013, two-thirds (66%) of a random sample of adults in a middle-sized American city reported experiencing at least one of 12 different categories of civil justice situations in the previous 18 months. For the whole sample, the average number of situations was 2.1; for people who reported situations, the average number reported was 3.3. The most commonly reported kinds of situations involved bread and butter issues with far-reaching impacts: problems with employment, money (finances, government benefits, debts), insurance, and housing. Poor people were more likely to report civil justice situations than were middle-income or high-income people. African Americans and Hispanics were more likely to report such situations than Whites.

People reported that almost half (47%) of the civil justice situations they experienced resulted in a significant negative consequence such as feelings of fear, a loss of income or confidence, damage to physical or mental health, or verbal or physical violence or threats of violence. Adverse impacts on health were the most common negative consequence, reported for 27% of situations.

Typically, people handled these situations on their own. For only about a fifth (22%) of situations did they seek assistance from a third party outside their immediate social network, such as a lawyer, social worker, police officer, city agency, religious leader or elected official. When people who did not seek any assistance from third parties outside their social circles were asked if cost was one barrier to doing so, they reported that concerns about cost were a factor in 17% of cases. A more important reason that people do not seek assistance with these situations, in particular assistance from lawyers or courts, is that they do not understand these situations to be legal.


Pilot Study Preliminary Report: “Got Clean Slate? New Study Suggests that Criminal Record Clearing May Increase Earnings”

Pilot Study Preliminary Report: Jeffrey Selbin & Justin McCrary, Got Clean Slate?  New Study Suggests that Criminal Record Clearing May Increase Earnings, SSRN Aug. 2014.  Abstract below: 

The more staggering impacts of the decades-long wars on crime and drugs are well-known. Almost seven million Americans – one in 35 adults – are incarcerated or under correctional supervision (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013). As many as one in four adult Americans has a criminal record, mostly for arrests and misdemeanors (NELP, 2011). By age 23, almost half of all African American men, more than a third of white men, and almost one in eight women have been arrested (Brame, et al., 2014). Arrest, conviction and incarceration records create collateral consequences that too often serve as a lifelong obstacle to employment, education, housing, public benefits and civic participation (National Institute of Justice, 2013).

Perhaps spurred by these disturbing trends, public defender offices, civil legal aid providers and law school clinics have established “clean slate” programs to help people avail themselves of criminal record clearing remedies. Studies consistently find that people with criminal records have dramatically reduced job prospects and income. However, until now we have had only anecdotal evidence that clean slate programs improve employment outcomes or earnings for people with criminal records. Gainful employment is critical to successful reentry for the tens of millions of Americans with a criminal record because it has the potential to reduce recidivism and related social and economic consequences for individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities.

Through a retrospective study of clients served by the East Bay Community Law Center’s Clean Slate Clinic, we analyzed the impact of obtaining criminal record remedies on their subsequent earnings. To our knowledge, this study is the first quantitative assessment of whether clean slate programs improve reported earnings. Through econometric techniques to control for the effects of changes in the larger economy on earnings, we can report two preliminary findings: 

(1) People with criminal records seek clean slate legal remedies after a prolonged period of declining earnings. This finding has implications for the delivery of clean slate legal services to people with criminal records, including targeting earlier intervention to help prevent deteriorating economic circumstances.

(2) Evidence suggests that the clean slate legal intervention stems the decline in earnings and may even boost earnings. It is too early to tell if the boost is significant and sustained, but halting the decline in earnings suggests that the intervention makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives and is a key component of an effective community reentry strategy.


New Report: “Understanding Central American Migration: The Crisis of Central American Child Migrants in Context”

New Report: Manuel Orozco & Julia Yansura, Understanding Central American Migration: The Crisis of Central American Child Migrants in Context (Aug. 2014).  Abstract below:

There has been a sharp increase in the number of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America attempting to enter the United States in the past few years. This increase is also seen among adults, though to a lesser degree. As the United States, Mexico, and Central American countries struggle to address this crisis, debates have raged surrounding the humanitarian, legal, and political implications of any possible solution to this complex and troubling issue. This memo aims to inform the current debate by integrating data on issues triggering this outflow while also introducing the perspectives of the people and communities they affect. Specifically, it draws on data from 900 municipalities to analyze migrant hometowns in relation to human development,violence, and education.In addition, it presents the results of a nationwide survey in El Salvador and a survey of Central American migrants residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

NOTE: for those who work on migration issues, I can’t recommend Manuel Orozco’s studies high enough — he is the guru of immigrant remittances and does lots of other work as well.  

New Issue of Stanford’s Pathways Magazine on “Jobs, Joblessness, and the New American Poverty”

New Issue of Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality’s Pathways Magazine on “Jobs, Joblessness, and the New American Poverty” (Summer 2014).  Contents below:

Table of Contents – Summer 2014

Editors’ Note by David Grusky, Charles Varner, and Michelle Poulin


  •  Do Millionaires Migrate When Tax Rates Are Raised?
    Cristobal Young and Charles Varner
    The millionaire tax is all the rage. But New Jersey Governor Chris Christie warns us, “Ladies and gentlemen, if you tax them, they will leave.” Is he right?

Research in Brief

  • Research in Brief
    Michelle Poulin and Marybeth Mattingly
    The effects of the carework revolution on job polarization; new results on the mobility of the super-rich; and the best research to date on the Hispanic Health Paradox

Jobs, Joblessness, and the New American Poverty