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NY Times features Marianne Bitler's research on the safety net in the Great Recession

In an article examining how the safety net is poised to respond to the next recession, the New York Times today featured Professor Marianne Bitler's recent work on how different forms of public assistance performed during the Great Recession.

Examining data from 1980 through 2012, Bitler and her coauthor found that the post-reform cash welfare system (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) did not respond to the Great Recession; at the same time, extreme poverty has become more responsive to the business cycle. The diminished role of traditional cash welfare has been partly offset by Food Stamps and by Unemployment Insurance, which provided at least as much anti-poverty protection during the most recent recession as they did during previous downturns. Bitler's findings highlight the importance of the social safety net in combating poverty and insuring households against the effects of recessions.

The paper, entitled "The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same? The Safety Net and Poverty in the Great Recession", was published in the Journal of Labor Economics in 2016. It is coauthored with Hilary Hoynes, formerly a professor in the UC Davis Economics Department and now on faculty at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Poilcy.