Family Finances

Income Volatility: Managing the Swings

August 25, 2016  • Financial Security Program

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Income volatility is a critical issue for understanding financial security today, which is why Aspen FSP is devoting the inaugural year of its new knowledge-synthesis initiative, the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC), to the issue. EPIC aims to be an evidence-based forum for gaining clarity about the nature of the problem, its evolution, its significance, and our options for responding. This second brief looks at managing income volatility at both the household and societal levels. It presents a framework for thinking through possible solutions, both government- and market-based. It was informed by and should be considered part of the EPIC process. Most notably, many of the policy ideas outlined below were unearthed through the expert surveys we administered earlier this year, and the framework itself was workshopped and refined during a two-day convening we hosted in June.