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How geography affects low-income Americans

A homeless man uses a Wi-Fi kiosk that offers free Web surfing, phone calls, and a charging station in New York City. The kiosks have become especially popular with the homeless. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A paper co-authored by Sarah Bruch, Director of the Social and Education Policy Research Program, was recently featured in an article the Pacific Standard. 

Bruch and her co-authors measured state-level variation in both benefit levels and inclusiveness, or how many needy families are actually reached by safety net programs. Across 11 different kinds of assistance — cash assistance, food assistance, health insurance, child support, childcare, early education, unemployment insurance, state income taxes, cash assistance-based employment services, housing assistance, and child disability assistance — the researchers found significant state-level variations in benefit levels. 

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