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Family Welfare and the Cost of Unemployment
This paper calculates the cost of an unemployment shock in terms of family welfare. We find that, overall, families face an average annualized expected dollar equivalent welfare loss of $1,156 when the unemployment rate rises by 1 percentage point. The average welfare loss for married families is greater than for single families and increases with education. We then estimate that a 1.8 percent shock to purchasing power would generate the same amount of overall welfare loss as a one-percentage-point rise in the unemployment rate.
Family Welfare and the Great Recession
The analysis in this paper provides estimates of family welfare losses generated by wage and nonlabor income declines experienced across the Great Recession and by labor market constraints existing postrecession. Welfare losses are greater as families (both married and single) move up the income distribution. Total static welfare losses are estimated to amount to roughly $190 billion, comparing family welfare between 2007 and 2011.
Changes in family welfare from 1994 to 2012: a tale of two decades
The female/male average wage ratio has steadily risen from 1983 to 2012. In earlier work, we found that the falling wage gap from 1983 to 1993 was materially detrimental to the average dual-earner family. The female/male wage ratio continued to rise over the following two decades, accompanied by a growing share of households in which the wife is the principal household income generator. This paper investigates how these two developments affected family welfare. Although family welfare rose during the 1990s, the story of the 2000s is quite different.