Dynamics of Income Packaging: A 10-Year Longitudinal Study

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11 Scopus citations


This article examines the methods and dynamics of packaging multiple sources of wage and nonwage income as a means of making ends meet over a 10-year period among a sample of displaced steelworkers who lost jobs as a result of plant closings in the 1980s and then experienced extensive downward mobility. The study tracked changes in the respondents' income and employment over a decade, the dynamics of their use of social services, their pooling of a variety of income sources, and the use of social assistance to supplement low wages. The study found that among this sample income packaging was a universal economic strategy and that use of social services did not affect later employment and earnings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalSocial work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Income packaging, low-wage workers
  • Services utilization
  • Unemployment
  • Wage supplements


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