Income, Material Hardship, and the Use of Public Programs Among the Elderly

32 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2009

See all articles by Helen Levy

Helen Levy

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 1, 2009

Abstract

I use data from the 2006 Health and Retirement Study to analyze the determinants of material hardship among individuals ages 65 and older. Ten percent of the elderly report hardship - defined here as cutting back on food or medications because of cost - in 2006. Although hardship is more likely for poorer individuals and, to some extent, for recipients of public transfer programs (Medicaid, Food Stamps, and/or Supplemental Security Income), the majority of those experiencing hardship are not poor and do not participate in these programs. In multivariate models, I find that self-reported health and activity limitations are significant predictors of hardship.

Suggested Citation

Levy, Helen, Income, Material Hardship, and the Use of Public Programs Among the Elderly (September 1, 2009). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. WP 2009-208, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1510302 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1510302

Helen Levy (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR) ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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