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The Ecology of ChildhoodHow Our Changing World Threatens Children's Rights$
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Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794845

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794845.001.0001

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Children of the Great American Recession

Children of the Great American Recession

(p.131) 7 Children of the Great American Recession
The Ecology of Childhood

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

NYU Press

Chapter seven examines the effects of the Great Recession on U.S. children. It opens with a discussion of various methods for measuring national well-being. Each measure, from Gross Domestic Product and the Global Competitiveness Index to the Human Development Index, the GINI Index of inequality, reflects different priorities. In measuring changes in child well-being, poverty is a key factor. The author reviews leading methods for measuring child poverty, including absolute versus relative benchmarks, market child poverty versus poverty after government benefits, the poverty gap between children and other groups, and boundaries between poverty and extreme poverty. In measuring changes in child well-being, in addition to poverty, researchers study food insecurity, housing instability, health-care gaps, and child maltreatment. In each category, the author uses a comparative lens to explore the long term effects of recession and the national response in the U.S. and Europe. At the macro level, national “politics”—defined as the authoritative allocation of values and distribution of rewards in wealth, power, and status—shaped the government response. The author documents the U.S. government’s failure to address rising levels of child poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, infant and maternal mortality, and child maltreatment associated with the recession.

Keywords:   Great Recession, Comparative, Child poverty, Malnutrition, Housing, Infant mortality, Inequality, Maltreatment

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