Multidimensional Hardships in the United States during the Covid-19 Pandemic


Multidimensional Hardships in the United States during the Covid-19 Pandemic


Thursday 7 March 2024, 13:00 — 14:00

Shatakshee Dhongde (Georgia Institute of Technology)

This webinar will give an overview of research on multidimensional hardships experienced by Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic. The webinar will summarize the findings from two papers. The first paper uses U.S. Census monthly survey data on job insecurity, food insufficiency, housing insecurity, and mental health. We find that at the peaks of the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 20% or one in five adults experienced two or more hardships. The second paper uses panel data on financial well-being collected by the Federal Reserve Board. We compile data on self-reported economic hardships such as inability to pay bills, unemployment, and inability to afford health care. Regression results show that hardships were more prevalent in states with stricter lockdown restrictions. Both papers show that multidimensional hardships were particularly high among women and among Blacks and Hispanics. Our results underscore the fact that the pandemic compounded hardships experienced by Americans and left a long-lasting impact on their well-being.

Dr. Shatakshee Dhongde is the Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Economics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. Her research has focused on measuring poverty, inequality, and deprivation. She was one of the first scholars to provide consistent estimates of multidimensional poverty in the United States over time.
Dr. Dhongde is the recipient of Dean George C. Griffin Faculty of the Year Award (2022), Mary S. and Richard B. Inman, Jr. Faculty Excellence Award (2021), and Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Award (2019). She is a Fellow of the Society for Economic Measurement and a research affiliate with the Institute of Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her work has featured in various national and international media, including the National Public Radio and the BBC.

Chair: Kevin Fox, UNSW Business School
Discussant: Suman Seth, University of Leeds