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Married … without Means: Poverty and Economic Hardship Among Married Americans


  • Shawn Fremstad


Most parents with below-poverty incomes who are raising minor children are married. The failure of many policy elites to recognize the extent of marital poverty covers up the profound economic struggles of millions of married parents. This paper concludes that to reduce marital poverty and hardship — and increase economic security for families of all types — policy makers need to expand and strengthen labor market institutions as well as universal systems of social protection against economic risks, and make quality child care and early education a birthright for all children.

Suggested Citation

  • Shawn Fremstad, 2012. "Married … without Means: Poverty and Economic Hardship Among Married Americans," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2012-26, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2012-26

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shawn Fremstad, 2010. "A Modern Framework for Measuring Poverty and Basic Economic Security," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-12, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    2. Rebecca M. Blank, 2008. "Presidential address: How to improve poverty measurement in the United States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 233-254.
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    More about this item


    unemployment; politics; structural unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • H - Public Economics
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure


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