Poverty and the Incidence of Material Hardship, Revisited

John Iceland, Claire Kovach, John Creamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: We examine trends in seven types of material hardship, such as food and housing hardships, and how their incidence by poverty status changed over the 1992–2011 period. Method: We use data from multiple panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation and logistic regressions to examine these relationships. Results: We find declines in four of the seven hardships, with little change or moderate increases for the others. Declines were larger for hardships more dependent on longer term income flows, while those more sensitive to short-term income fluctuations declined by less (or increased). Notably, declines in hardship were most evident among the lowest income groups over the period. Conclusion: That short-term hardships did not decline suggests that income volatility poses an important challenge for many households. Larger declines in hardship among the lowest income groups suggest a greater underreporting of income over time and the presence of family resources not comprehensively counted in the official poverty measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-617
Number of pages33
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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