Dynamics of Family Economic Well-Being and Composition of Financial Resources around a Birth

Alexandra B. Stanczyk, University of Chicago

Prior research suggests that families may face heightened risk of economic insecurity in the time around a birth. The composition of family income – families’ relative reliance on mother’s and father’s earnings, earnings from other household members, and public programs – may also fluctuate in response to the timing of a birth. However, US research on dynamics of family economic wellbeing and packaging of income sources during pregnancy and following birth is limited. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this study provides evidence of month-to-month changes in several measures of economic wellbeing and composition of financial resources in the year leading up to and following a birth. Preliminary analyses suggest that, on average, families experience declines in economic wellbeing following a birth. Mothers with lower levels of education experience declines in family economic wellbeing that begin earlier in pregnancy, and that are greater in magnitude.

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Presented in Session 17: Sex, Fertility, and Well-Being