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Walking the Tightrope: Variable Income and Limited Liquidity Among the US Middle Class

In this chapter, author Dan Silverman of Arizona State University describes a body of evidence showing that large fluctuations in household income are commonplace both across and within years. However, these households’ reactions to shocks reveal substantial resilience despite their lack of a financial buffer. Silverman argues these facts imply that successful policies will focus on limiting the uninsured risks that families face.