Safety net programs and poverty during the COVID-19 crisis

Author: Leigh Lynes

The paper Income and poverty in the COVID-19 pandemic found that the government’s initial response to the pandemic effectively prevented a rise in poverty. The government response included one-time Economic Impact Payments as well as expanded unemployment benefits. 

The result, according to the paper’s authors—Jeehoon Han and Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago, and James X. Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame—was that poverty declined after the start of the pandemic and incomes rose throughout the distribution of income.

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