Precarious Employment and Food Insecurity among Employed Single Mother Households in the United StatesISER External Seminars

In this paper, I explore the relationship between food insecurity and precarious work among employed single mother households in the United States. There is evidence that both food insecurity and precarious work, while always high among single mother households, have increased since the start of the Great Recession. I argue that precarious work can be linked to food insecurity in two ways. First, as a great deal of research in economics has shown, precarious work is associated with low and volatile incomes. Second, health and nutrition research have highlighted that precarious work may also lead to time scarcity and volatility, which influences the way that single mothers plan, purchase, and prepare food. Using data from the 2004 and 2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, I find that employed single mother households in the United States that experience a substantial income drop in the past year have close to 1.5 times greater odds of experiencing food insecurity than households with a stable income. While working part-time hours, and having shifts that occur during nonstandard hours or that vary from week to week were not associated with food insecurity, mothers involved in contingency work had roughly five times the odds of experiencing food insecurity. These findings advance our understanding of food insecurity and the negative consequences of precarious work.

Presented by:

Amanda Sheely (LSE)

Date & time:

11 Jan 2016 16:00 pm - 11 Jan 2016 17:30 pm



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