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Covid-19 and disadvantage in New York City: a study using data from the Robin Hood and Columbia University poverty tracker and early childhood poverty tracker

Within two weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic drastically altered life in New York City, wreaking havoc on the personal and economic health of the City’s population. This study employs data from the Robin Hood and Columbia University Poverty Tracker and Early Childhood Poverty Tracker –two longitudinal studies of well-being in New York City –to analyze the impact of the pandemic on poverty and disadvantage. (See Data Description to learn more about the data that the Poverty Tracker and the Early Childhood Poverty Tracker are collecting in response to Covid-19). As part of this project, we will produce multiple papers on the impacts of the pandemic. The first paper will examine its effects on workforce participation, income, and the use of social programs (specifically unemployment and food assistance) as stabilizers. Later papers will examine the immediate impact of Covid-19 on severe material hardships, such as running out of food and falling behind on rent, as well as the poverty rate. Another paper will examine the experiences of Covid-19 related discrimination among New Yorkers of Chinese descent.

Lead investigator:

Jane Waldfogel


Columbia University

Primary topic:

Jobs, work, pay & benefits

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Region of data collection:

North America

Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Unit of real-time data collection