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Childhood Homelessness and Adult Employment: The Role of Education, Incarceration, and Welfare Receipt

Author

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  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Zhu, Anna

    () (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the long-term consequences of children experiencing homelessness. Our primary goal is to assess the importance of the potential pathways linking childhood homelessness to adult employment. We use novel panel data that link survey and administrative data for a sample of disadvantaged adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We find that those experiencing homelessness for the first time as children are less likely to be employed than those who were never homeless as a child. For women, this relationship is largely explained by the lower educational attainment and higher welfare receipt (both in general and in the form of mental illness-related disability payments) of those experiencing childhood homelessness. Higher rates of high-school incompletion and incarceration explain some of the link between childhood homelessness and men's employment, however, childhood homelessness continues to have a substantial direct effect on male employment rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Zhu, Anna, 2015. "Childhood Homelessness and Adult Employment: The Role of Education, Incarceration, and Welfare Receipt," IZA Discussion Papers 9250, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9250
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Childhood homelessness makes for adult unemployment: study
      by Anna Zhu, Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne in The Conversation on 2015-10-15 03:57:51

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; homelessness; welfare receipt; education; incarceration;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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