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Children facing economic hardships in the United States

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Author Info

  • Hsien-Hen Lu

    (Columbia University)

  • Julian Palmer

    (Statistical Office of North Rhine-Westphalia State Centre for Preventive Medicine)

  • Younghwan Song

    (Union College, Schenectady, NY)

  • Mary C. Lennon

    (Columbia University)

  • J. Lawrence Aber

    (New York University)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper helps document significant improvements in the child low-income rate as well as the significant decrease in the proportion of children who relied on public assistance in the United States during the 1990s. Many disadvantaged groups of children were less likely to live in poor or low-income families in the late 1990s than such children a decade earlier. The improvement in the child low-income rates of these disadvantaged groups was accompanied by a substantial increase in parental employment. However, parental employment appears to do less to protect children from economic hardship than it did a decade earlier. This paper shows that working families’ children in many disadvantaged social groups, especially groups in medium risk ranks--children in families with parents between ages 25 to 29, with parents who only had a high-school diploma, and in father-only families--suffered the largest increase in economic hardship. Our results indicate that the increased odds of falling below low-income lines among children in working families facing multiple disadvantaged characteristics and the increased proportion of these children in various subgroups of working families in the 1990s can help explain the increased economic hardship among subgroups in the medium risk ranks listed above. Finally, the paper also notes that the official measure of poverty tends to underestimate low-income rates.

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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol10/11/10-11.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 11 (June)
    Pages: 287-338

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:10:y:2004:i:11

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: bootstrap; child poverty; employment; income; low income; poverty measure; welfare reform;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1027-62, December.
    2. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1063-1106, December.
    3. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
    4. Neil G. Bennett & Hsien-Hen Lu & Younghwan Song, 2002. "Welfare Reform and Changes in the Economic Well-Being of Children," NBER Working Papers 9399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
    7. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
    8. Geronimus, Arline T & Korenman, Sanders, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-214, November.
    9. John Iceland & Kathleen Short & Thesia I. Garner & David Johnson, 2001. "Are Children Worse off?: Evaluating Well-Being Using a New (And Improved) Measure of Poverty," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 398-412.
    10. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "U.S. Welfare Reform: What's Relevant for Europe?," CESifo Working Paper Series 753, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," NBER Working Papers 7491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. John Iceland & Josh Kim, 2001. "Poverty among Working Families: New Insights from an Improved Poverty Measure," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 82(2), pages 253-267.
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