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Characteristics associated with entering the bottom income fifth

Note: Bars show how much the chance of entering the bottom income fifth changes if the head of household has the identified characteristic relative to not having it (e.g., being white relative to being nonwhite). The change in likelihood associated with being in the middle, fourth, or top income fifth is relative to being in the second-lowest fifth.

Source: Adapted from Acs and Zimmerman (2008b, Figure 6)

Updated May 16, 2012

Documentation and methodology

The figure is adapted from Acs and Zimmerman (2008b), Figure 6, “Characteristics Associated with Entering the Bottom Quintile.” Coefficients are based on a linear probability regression that includes these characteristics as well as dummy variables for age, education, the presence of children, and own work hours. Own and spouse work hours are measured in thousand-hour units. Acs and Zimmerman do not differentiate between spouses and permanent cohabiters, and interact the spouse hours variable with a dummy variable for the spouse’s presence. Only characteristics with statistically significant coefficients in at least one time period are shown. In the 1984–1994 time period, the coefficients for middle fifth, fourth fifth, and top fifth are statistically significant at the 99 percent confidence level; male and spouse present are statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level; and spouse work hours is statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level. In the 1994–2004 time period, the coefficients for disability, fourth fifth, and top fifth are statistically significant at the 99 percent confidence level; white is statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level; and homeowner, other adult present, and middle fifth are statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence interval.

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