WP 2020-04 Portfolios of Atlanta’s Poor

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AUTHORS: Elisabet Rutström

Aim of the Paper: PAP was initiated by the Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk at Georgia State University with the purpose of collecting rich micro level data for a specific population: the working poor in Atlanta. The data collection effort complements those done in previous studies by allowing a structured, quantitative analysis of the relationships between various characteristics and behaviors of the participating households, but on a less heterogeneous population and on a high frequency basis. By collecting and analyzing health, income, expense, equity and liability data over a period of time from the same households it is possible to construct a picture of the constraints and opportunities that are facing these households, and to devise novel solutions, both private and public, to increase their financial security and growth. Complementing these data collection efforts, the research program also involves an unanticipated income shock that can be used to look at causal behavioral factors behind vulnerability.