Can Public Benefits Protect Workers & Families from the Harms of Corporate Market Power?

Corporate market power touches virtually every facet of American life—from health care costs and access to grocery stores to our environment and the strength of our democratic institutions. Public benefits programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid, provide essential protections for workers and families from the harms of concentrated market power, including the prevalence of low-paid work. However, little attention has been paid to the complex relationships between public benefits and corporate market power. This working paper examines some of the relationships between corporate market power and public benefits and spotlights opportunities for further exploration of this emerging area of research.

Who Responded in the 2020 Census? Variation in Tract-Level Self-Response Rates in the 2020 U.S. Census

The goal of the decennial census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. However, the Census Bureau has historically overcounted certain groups—including white people—while undercounting others—including people of color, young children, and people experiencing homelessness. These gaps undermine the fairness of the census and contribute to an inequitable distribution of political power and federal resources for programs that support economic security, health, and education. This working paper examines the self-response rates to the 2020 Census by various socio-economic, demographic, and housing characteristics in order to gain timely insights into the potential accuracy of the 2020 Census. The paper finds that the 2020 Census likely will contain similar inaccuracies seen in past censuses.

Unworkable & Unwise: Conditioning Access to Programs that Ensure a Basic Foundation for Families on Work Requirements

This working paper outlines the ramifications of taking away Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance from those who do not document meeting new work and community engagement requirements. The paper underscores how proposals that take away basic assistance from people who don’t meet work requirements are ill-informed, ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable, while alternative policies would produce far better outcomes.