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Income Packaging and Economic Disconnection: Do Sources of Support Differ from Other Low-Income Women?


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  • Andrea Helting
  • Jinwoo Kwon
  • Elizabeth Mahn
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    Income packaging, or piecing together cash and non-cash resources from a variety of sources, is a common financial survival strategy among low-income women. This strategy is particularly important for economically disconnected women, who lack both employment income and public cash assistance receipt. Using data from the confidential Census Bureau versions of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this study compares the use of public and private supports between disconnected and connected low-income women, controlling for differences in state welfare rules and county unemployment rates. Findings from bivariate comparisons and multilevel logistic regressions indicate that disconnected women utilize public non-cash supports at similar rates to connected women, but rely more heavily on private sources. Conclusions focus on the policy implications for outreach and program development.

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    File Function: First version, 2013
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 13-61.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:13-61

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    Keywords: Economically disconnected women; income packaging; low-income families;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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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. Gregory Acs & Pamela Loprest, 2004. "Leaving Welfare: Employment and Well-Being of Families that Left WElfare in the Post-Entitlement Age," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lw.
    2. Robert G. Wood & Anu Rangarajan, 2003. "What's Happening to TANF Leavers Who Are Not Employed?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 3697, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Quinn Moore & Robert G. Wood & Anu Rangarajan, 2012. "The Dynamics of Women Disconnected from Employment and Welfare," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7448, Mathematica Policy Research.
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