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Stratagies for Improving Economic Mobility of Workers

Bridging Research and Practice

Maude Toussaint-Comeau and Bruce D. Meyer, Editors

Publication Year: 2009

The contributors to this book provide a provocative assessment of the effectiveness of various policies and practices designed to help disadvantaged segments of our population overcome the obstacles in their path to upward economic mobility.

Published by: W.E. Upjohn Institute

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

The conference “Strategies for Improving Economic Mobility of Workers,” held in Chicago on November 15–16, 2007, and the publication of this conference volume are a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the W.E. UpJohn Institute for Employment Research. Maude Toussaint-Comeau originated...

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1 - Introduction

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pp. 1

On November 15–16, 2007, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research cosponsored a conference at the Chicago Fed, “Strategies for Improving Economic Mobility of Workers.” The conference’s purpose was threefold: 1) to bring together researchers...

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2 Bringing Together Policymakers, Researchers, and Practitioners to Discuss Strategies for Improving Economic Mobility

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pp. 5-46

The issue of economic opportunity for the disadvantaged has grown in importance. It is well known that inequality in economic outcomes has increased. Those at the lowest end of the wage spectrum, with less...

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3 Past Trends and Projections in Wages, Work, and Occupations in the United States

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pp. 47-60

It is widely recognized that inequality of labor market earnings in the United States has increased dramatically in recent decades. This may be seen in Figure 3.1, adapted from Autor, Katz, and Kearney (2008), which plots the growth of real hourly wages of U.S. workers (both male...

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4 The Earned Income Tax Credit, Welfare Reform,and the Employment of Low-Skilled Single Mothers

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pp. 61-74

Cash assistance for low-income families with children underwent tremendous change in the 1990s. Welfare reform led to a dramatic reduction in the generosity of state cash assistance and an elimination of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. At the same time, cash assistance...

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5 Reflections on EconomicMobility and Policy

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pp. 75-84

This chapter comments on presentations from the “Strategies for Improving Economic Mobility of Workers” conference and discusses trends in the material circumstances of Americans. I will also briefly discuss some policies that have been used to equalize the distribution of resources. In looking at trends over...

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6 Helping Low-Wage Workers Persist in Education Programs

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pp. 85-106

Employment has long been held to be an important deterrent against poverty, and work is at the heart of a range of federal efforts to improve the economic well-being of low-income families. However, full-time, stable work alone is not sufficient to alleviate poverty: more than half of the families, with children...

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7 Financial Aid and Older Workers

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pp. 107-124

Educational trends increasingly highlight the growing numbers of older students who are seeking postsecondary training. According to figures from the 2006 Digest of Education Statistics (NCES 2007), only 28 percent of the college population was age 25 or above in 1970. However,..

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8 Can Residential Mobility Programs Improve Human Capital?

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pp. 125-150

Underlying some arguments for residential mobility is an implicit assumption that low-income individuals’ capabilities can be improved by residential moves. We can conceive of four kinds of social influences...

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9 What Might Improve the Employment and Advancement Prospects of the Poor?

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pp. 151-162

During the past few decades, millions of less-educated workers have poured into the labor market in the United States, many as a result of welfare reform and immigration. But, while many of these workers have become successfully attached to the labor market, their wages often...

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10 What We Know About the Impacts of Workforce Investment Programs

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pp. 163-176

This chapter briefly reviews the recent literature that seeks to evaluate employment and training programs, as well as important older papers. We focus on the question of whether the programs have measurable and economically...

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11 Correctional Programs in the Age of Mass Incarceration

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pp. 177-196

Beginning in the mid-1970s the convergence of several social and economic forces changed the size, face, and nature of the U.S. penal system. In terms of the size of the penal system, changes in criminal justice policies associated with the government’s fight against drugs and crime mean that more convictions...

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12 Comparing Apples to Orangeswhen Evaluating Community-Based Programs and Services

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pp. 197-210

Community organizations have proliferated over time. These nonprofit entities may provide a range of services, or they may provide a very specific set of services targeted to residents of a geographically defined area, such as a neighborhood...

The Authors

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pp. 211-212


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pp. 213-226

About the Institute

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pp. 227

E-ISBN-13: 9780880994460
E-ISBN-10: 0880994460
Print-ISBN-13: 9780880993524
Print-ISBN-10: 0880993529

Page Count: 227
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: First