Housing and employment insecurity among the working poor

Matthew Desmond, Carl Gershenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


While social scientists have documented severe consequences of job loss, scant research investigates why workers lose their jobs. We explore the role of housing insecurity in actuating employment insecurity, investigating if workers who involuntarily lose their homes subsequently involuntarily lose their jobs. Analyzing novel survey data of predominately low-income working renters, we find the likelihood of being laid off to be between 11 and 22 percentage points higher for workers who experienced a preceding forced move, compared to observationally identical workers who did not. Our findings suggest that initiatives promoting housing stability could promote employment stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-67
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Problems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Displacement
  • Eviction
  • Inequality
  • Job loss
  • Unemployment
  • Working poor


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