|Title||Financial hardship and depression experienced by pre-retirees during the COVID-19 pandemic: the mitigating role of stimulus payments|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||Forthcoming|
|Authors||Liu, Y, Zhang, Y, Chatterjee, S|
|Journal||Applied Economics Letters|
|Keywords||COVID-19, depression, Financial hardship, pre-retirees, stimulus checks|
This study examines the association between financial hardship and depression among pre-retirees (ages 50 to 65) using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its 2020 COVID-19 supplement. We find a negative association between the amount of stimulus received and financial hardship experienced by respondents during the pandemic. Additionally, the results indicate that African American households were less likely to increase spending, Hispanic households were more likely to increase savings, and households with lower educational attainment were more likely to pay down debt using their stimulus money. Financial wealth was negatively associated with the perception of feeling depressed. Overall, the findings from this study underscore the important role that the stimulus checks and other financial resources played in buffering the economic shock experienced by American households during the COVID-19 pandemic.