Brief Do Assets Help Families Cope with Adverse Events?
Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Katie Vinopal
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Family events, such as a job loss, the onset of health limitations, and a change in family structure, can adversely affect family well-being. The impact of these events may be mitigated if the family holds assets that can be used to maintain consumption. Using the SIPP, this study examines the role of assets in families' economic stability. We find that families in all parts of the income distribution experience material hardship after a negative event. Further, in the aftermath of a negative event, asset-poor families experience more hardship than non-asset-poor families, with assets helping most for low- and middle-income families.
Research Areas Wealth and financial well-being Families Social safety net
Tags Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Asset and debts Economic well-being Family and household data Families with low incomes