The early impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Americans’ economic security
Since many households lack the ability to weather unexpected financial shocks, how has the pandemic thus far affected Americans’ financial stability?
The coronavirus pandemic has had enormous effects on the U.S. economy due to governmental mandates temporarily closing businesses and schools, and individuals remaining home due to fears of infection. In response, policymakers expanded unemployment benefits and passed legislation providing many people with Economic Impact Payments. As a result, many Americans’ financial stability actually improved early in the pandemic, both in subjective measures, like financial satisfaction, and more objective measures, like financial fragility and savings behavior and balances.
The authors use longitudinal survey data from the Understanding America Study, a nationally representative Internet panel, fielded in May of 2018, 2019 and 2020. They couple these data with additional surveys measuring subjective retirement preparedness and Social Security claiming intentions.
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