Poverty in the Pandemic provides a data-driven account of how poverty influenced the economic, social, and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., as well as how the country’s policy response led to historically low poverty rates. Drawing on dozens of data sources and methodological innovations – ranging from debit and credit card spending data, a new measure of monthly poverty rates, and the first national databases of school and childcare center closures in the U.S. – the book provides the most complete account to date of the unique challenges that low-income households in the U.S. faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the book carefully documents, and extracts lessons from, the extraordinary policy response that led to a record-low poverty rate in the U.S. in 2020, and then again in 2021. The collection of evidence challenges conventional understanding of poverty in the U.S. and offers a set of specific policy takeaways from the pandemic for improving economic well-being in the future.
About the speaker:
Zachary Parolin is an Assistant Professor of Social Policy at Bocconi University and a Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy. He has published widely on topics related to the measurement, sources, and consequences of poverty in journals such as Nature Human Behaviour, American Economic Association: Papers & Proceedings, Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Demography, and American Sociological Review. His research on poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, The Atlantic, CNN, in a U.S. presidential debate, and in other outlets.