Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

The great recession and the social safety net

TitleThe great recession and the social safety net
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMoffitt, RA
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Date PublishedNov
ISBN Number00027162 (ISSN)
KeywordsGreat R., Poverty, safety net, Welfare

The social safety net responded in significant and favorable ways during the Great Recession. Aggregate per capita expenditures in safety net programs grew significantly, with particularly strong growth in the SNAP, EITC, UI, and Medicaid programs. The increase in transfers was widely shared across demographic groups, including families with and without children, and single-parent and two-parent families. Transfers grew as well among families with more employed members and with fewer employed members. In the low-income population, however, the increase in transfer amounts was not strongly progressive across income classes, with transfers to those just below or above the poverty line increasing slightly, compared to those at the bottom of the income distribution. This was mainly because of the EITC program, which provides greater benefits to those with higher family earnings. The expansions of SNAP and UI benefitted those at the bottom of the income distribution to a greater extent. © American Academy of Political & Social Science 2013.