RACIAL DISPARITIES IN THE FAMILY SAFETY NET

Families can serve as a safety net for individuals experiencing adversity. While most research has focused on the activation of the safety net – that is, the observed provision of support – understanding whether one has family members with the capacity to help provides another lens by which to measure population-level inequality. Even in the absence of actual help, the knowledge of having “social insurance” against economic distress may influence individuals’ behaviors.

In ongoing research, I extend prior knowledge of racial disparities in economic resources reproduced across generations by demonstrating how it affects the potential family safety net.


Park, Sung S., Emily E. Wiemers, and Judith A. Seltzer. Forthcoming. “The Family Safety Net of Black and White Multigenerational Families.” Population and Development Review.