State Variation in Material Hardship Among Households with Children

Colleen M Heflin, University of Missouri at Columbia

Researchers are becoming increasingly interested in alternative measures of well-being such as indicators of food insufficiency, housing upkeep problems, difficulty paying bills and unmet medical needs. Yet little is known about how individual reports of these measures vary by the context in which the individual is embedded. Important contextual characteristics may include the economic conditions, economic policy, climate, and social policy environment and these characteristics may vary by both state and time. This paper will combine Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data from five different panels to model state-level predictors of material hardship among households with children using hierarchical models. Results will reveal how reports of material hardship vary across time and space and to what extent differences can be explained by demographic characteristics and by contextual differences.

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Presented in Session 116: Poverty, Hardship and Mobility Amongst Women and Children in the USA