Focuses on short, immediate, and longer-term policies that might improve the economic prospects of low-income households.

The authors completed "a series of simulations to determine what might help" improve the prospects of low-income families, which they found to be disproportionately headed by young, minority, female single parents (p.2). The authors considered the effects of the following:

• a stronger job market,

• a higher minimum wage,

• a higher high school graduation rate,

• and the addition of a second income-earner on the average earnings of low-income families. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

The authors identified a number of policies that would move low-income families out of poverty. “In the short run, a return to full employment would increase their earnings by about 15 percent. They would also be helped by a higher minimum wage, a more generous Earned Income Tax Credit, or more child care assistance, although these effects would likely be more modest. In the longer run, they need more education and stronger families to make it into the middle class” (p. 23). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)