Dynamics of Disconnection: Differences in Spells of Being Disconnected and Wellbeing by Sex

Laryssa Mykyta, U.S. Census Bureau

In the wake of welfare reform and the recent recession, there has been increased interest in identifying and assessing the well-being of disconnected families (those having no earnings and receiving no TANF or SSI). I use the 2001, 2004 and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation in order to examine disconnectedness by sex over the last decade. Findings suggest that women were more likely to be disconnected in 2001 and 2004 but that the odds of being disconnected increased for men over the course of the recession. Results from discrete-time hazard models further reveal sex differences in entering a spell of disconnection. Among men, younger men with less exposure to or interaction with the labor market are vulnerable to becoming disconnected; among women, single mothers heading households remain vulnerable to becoming disconcected. These differences suggest that different policy levers may be necessary to reduce the risk of disconnection by sex.

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Presented in Session 84: Family and the Economy