Post-Recession Contexts of Working Poverty : Austerity, Immigration, Race, and Gender

Authors: Jamie Goodwin-White*, UCLA
Topics: Population Geography, Economic Geography, Immigration/Transnationalism
Keywords: Poverty, Immigrants, Race, New Destinations, Austerity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom A, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Despite attention to both immigrants’ changing residence patterns and the recession, there has been little if any work comparing working household poverty for immigrant-headed vs native-headed households. I argue that state-level austerity contexts (proxied through the inclusion of variables measuring public-sector cuts and Gini indices of income inequality, as well as a measure of Republican control) will be positively related to household poverty, especially amongst those most likely to be poor: those headed by Latinos and Blacks, as well as those headed by single parents (especially single mothers). Further, these place characteristics intersect with new versus traditional destinations. Here, I compare Hispanic immigrant households with US-born white, black, and Hispanic households in the same fractional logit models to assess risks to different household types simultaneously. Because the literature emphasizes immigrants’ selection of non-traditional destinations for better employment and lower-cost housing environments, I focus uniquely on full-time working heads of household and the risk of being both 1) below 150% of the federal poverty level and 2) below state-specific poverty thresholds (50% of median income). This approach eliminates questions around state differences in cost-of-living and employment probability between states, and allows for focusing on differences of race, nativity, and gender, as well as differences in state political economic context that affect all households. Did immigrants’ new settlement patterns reduce their risk of household poverty, relative to US-born workers? And how did recessionary state contexts matter differently for immigrant and native-headed households?

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