The Effect of Unemployment on Household Composition and Doubling Up

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67 Scopus citations


“Doubling up” (sharing living arrangements) with family and friends is one way in which individuals and families can cope with job loss, but relatively little research has examined the extent to which people use coresidence to weather a spell of unemployment. This project uses data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to provide evidence on the relationship between household composition and unemployment across working ages, focusing on differences in behavior by educational attainment. Using the SIPP panels, I find that individuals who become unemployed are three times more likely to move in with other people. Moving into shared living arrangements in response to unemployment is not evenly spread across the distribution of educational attainment: it is most prevalent among individuals with less than a high school diploma and those with at least some college.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2155-2178
Number of pages24
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Living arrangements
  • Unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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