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Building Economic Self-Sufficiency

This policy brief, by Carolyn Heinrich and Timothy Smeeding, examines the range of challenges faced by disadvantaged families, noting that there is widespread agreement that work must be part of any strategy to increase their self-sufficiency. Also noted is the reality that low-wage and often part-time, variable-hours work that many low-income families rely on, along with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), does not provide enough income to cover a family’s basic needs. Some of the most promising policy ideas on this topic that were discussed at the “Building Human Capital” conference are featured in this brief.


Economic Support, Employment, Family & Partnering, Family Structure, Food & Nutrition, Food Assistance, Labor Market, Low-Wage Work, Means-Tested Programs, Social Insurance Programs