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The Great Recession and Material Hardship

  • Natasha V. Pilkauskas

    (Columbia University)

  • Janet Currie

    (Columbia University)

  • Irwin Garfinkel

    (Columbia University)

Little research looks at the relationship between macroeconomic indicators and material hardship. High unemployment rates as a result of economic downturns are likely to lead to lost income, increased poverty, and material hardship. We examine the effect of the unemployment rate on hardship – food insecurity, difficulty paying bills, housing insecurity, unmet medical needs, and having utilities cut off – and investigate the role that government safety nets play in mitigating the effects of unemployment on the experience of material hardship. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study. The latest wave of data was collected during the Great Recession, the worst recession since the Great Depression, providing a unique opportunity to look at how high unemployment rates affect the well-being of low income families.

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File URL: http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP11-08-FF.pdf
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1312.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp11-08-ff
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  1. R Haveman & J Schwabish, 2000. "Has Macroeconomic Performance Regained Its Antipoverty Bite?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(4), pages 415-427, October.
  2. Roderick Rose & Susan Parish & Joan Yoo, 2009. "Measuring Material Hardship among the US Population of Women with Disabilities Using Latent Class Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 391-415, December.
  3. Craig Gundersen & James Ziliak, 2004. "Poverty and macroeconomic performance across space, race, and family structure," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 61-86, February.
  4. James X. Sullivan & Lesley Turner & Sheldon Danziger, 2008. "The relationship between income and material hardship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 63-81.
  5. Susan E. Mayer & Christopher Jencks, 1989. "Poverty and the Distribution of Material Hardship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 88-114.
  6. Rebecca M. Blank, 1987. "Disaggregating the Effect of the Business Cycle on the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 2397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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