Childhood Homelessness and Adult Employment: The Role of Education, Incarceration, and Welfare Receipt

45 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Anna Zhu

RMIT University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

This paper analyzes the long-term consequences of children experiencing homelessness. Our primary goal is to assess the importance of the potential pathways linking childhood homelessness to adult employment. We use novel panel data that link survey and administrative data for a sample of disadvantaged adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We find that those experiencing homelessness for the first time as children are less likely to be employed than those who were never homeless as a child. For women, this relationship is largely explained by the lower educational attainment and higher welfare receipt (both in general and in the form of mental illness-related disability payments) of those experiencing childhood homelessness. Higher rates of high-school incompletion and incarceration explain some of the link between childhood homelessness and men's employment, however, childhood homelessness continues to have a substantial direct effect on male employment rates.

Keywords: employment, homelessness, welfare receipt, education, incarceration

JEL Classification: J1, J2, I2

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Zhu, Anna, Childhood Homelessness and Adult Employment: The Role of Education, Incarceration, and Welfare Receipt. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9250. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2655290

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Anna Zhu

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

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