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Shaefer and Edin's book ($2 a Day) cited in piece on political debate over plight of impoverished Americans

Eisenberg tracks factors affecting both mental health and athletic/academic performance among college athletes

Shapiro says Americans' low spending reflects "cruel lesson" about the dangers of debt

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Susan Murphy elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Maggie Levenstein named director of ISR's Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Arline Geronimus receives 2016 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award

PSC spring 2016 newsletter: Kristin Seefeldt, Brady West, newly funded projects, ISR Runs for Bob, and more

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Robert F. Schoeni photo

Social Security, Economic Growth and the Rise of the Elderly Widows' Independence in the Twentieth Century.

Publication Abstract

Schoeni, Robert F., and Kathleen McGarry. 2000. "Social Security, Economic Growth and the Rise of the Elderly Widows' Independence in the Twentieth Century." Demography, 37(2): 221-36.

The percentage of elderly widows living alone rose from 18% in 1940 to 62% in 1990, while the percentage living with adult children declined from 59% to 20%. This study finds that income growth, particularly increased Social Security benefits, was the single most important determinant of living arrangements, accounting for nearly one-half of the increase in independent living. Unlike researchers in earlier studies, no evidence is found that the effect of income became stronger over the period. Changes in age, race, immigrant status, schooling and completed fertility explain a relatively small share of the changes in living arrangements.

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