Quotation Rapp, Severin, Humer, Stefan. 2020. Varieties of Vulnerability: Do Private and Public Safety Nets Compensate for Asset Poverty? Annual ESPAnet Conference, Zoom, Belgien, 04.09.2020.




The outbreak of Covid-19 and its economic distortions test the resilience of families around the world. While conventional approaches consider either the buffering capacity of private assets or social insurance mechanisms to weather such shocks, we address and quantify their combined cushioning effect. Highlighting the importance of public safety nets and familial networks, this paper devises a modified concept of asset poverty that better reflects vulnerability of private households. Our results reveal how differences in social relations and institutional rules shape substantial cross-country variation in the vulnerability of private households, signalling different needs for additional policy measures. We find that, albeit asset poverty of US families is particularly low, households in most European countries are less vulnerable because generous social security systems compensate for low private assets. However, even in some European contexts, a prolonged shock can expose vulnerability due to the lack of both household savings and social protection.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Varieties of Vulnerability: Do Private and Public Safety Nets Compensate for Asset Poverty?
Event Annual ESPAnet Conference
Year 2020
Date 04.09.2020
Country Belgium
Location Zoom
URL https://espanet.org/annual-conferences/


Rapp, Severin (Details)
Humer, Stefan (Former researcher)
Department of Economics (Crespo Cuaresma) (Details)
Economics of Inequality FI (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5325 Political economics (Details)
5341 Economic policy (Details)
5371 Macroeconomics (Details)
5911 Social policy (Details)
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