Family Structure and Inequality in Contemporary America

This project analyzes economic inequality among families with children in the contemporary American landscape. Our goal is to ascertain whether family structure per se has become more important over time in explaining economic inequality, or whether it is the constellation of factors associated with family structure that have grown in importance. To achieve this goal, we consider previously overlooked factors in familial inequality, including family instability, income volatility, wealth inequality, and the receipt of near-cash benefits. We decompose trends in familial economic inequality using the Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation for the years 1980-2013.