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The Great Recession (2007-2009) led to declines in the gross domestic product and increases in the unemployment rate that were greater than in any recession since the one in the early 1980s. The collapse of stock prices and housing prices reduced the financial wealth and economic security of Americans from across the social ladder. Many families fighting poverty and those fighting to stay in the middle class experienced layoffs, reductions in hours, difficulty finding jobs, mortgage defaults, disruptions of retirement plans, and related catastrophic shocks to their labor market and financial security.
The Michigan Recession and Recovery Study has been collecting survey data over several years on a set of these individuals in Southeastern Michigan to address several research objectives. First, we explore how the severe recession and the collapse of stock and housing prices influenced economic and other forms of well-being of workers and families. Second, we explore how social welfare programs like unemployment insurance or the food stamps program may have offset some of the negative effects of the economic crisis. Third, we evaluate how different burdens of economic hardship and access to support affected health and socio-economic disparities between Black and White Michiganders.
More information about the study and examples of published work can be found here:
Description of Work for Research Assistants:
The undergraduate researcher will have two main roles. First, she or he will assist with the construction of a codebook based on the third wave of survey interviews that were recently collected. Second, depending on interest and level of comfort with statistical software, he or she will have an opportunity to participate in statistical analysis and contribute to the development of a journal article for publication in a peer reviewed academic journal. Depending on skill level, she or he may be able to author a policy or issue brief on a topic of her or his interest. The undergraduate researcher will be invited to all team and project meetings with faculty and graduate students who have long been involved in the project, and will be exposed to different styles of data analysis (quantitative and qualitative), different key topics that our investigators are working on (i.e., housing instability, asset poverty and health, detailed employment trajectories and well-being, and the risk of poverty of families and children in the region). She or he will be able to see a functioning survey project and academic project team in action.
Supervising Faculty Member
Average hours of work per week
6 to 12 hours
Range of credit hours students can earn
2 to 4 credits
Number of positions available
1 to 2 positions available