The Toronto-based Globe and Mail featured work from the US Financial Diaries on employment and income volatility in a piece on the economic realities of low-wage workers in the sharing economy. The poor around the world lead very complex financial lives, often balancing multiple sources of income. As the article notes:
But it’s not just the poor of Asia and Africa – it’s people around you. During the past five years, Dr. Morduch and Rachel Schneider of the Center for Financial Services Innovation have expanded this research into the “low- and moderate-income households” of North America through their U.S. Financial Diaries project – and they have found similar patterns becoming very widespread.
Typical of the hundreds of families they’ve examined are the Hosseins of New York, who make between $1500 and $3000 a month from running a coffee shop and a dry-goods store, from collecting rent on a spare room, from the husband driving a taxi periodically (possibly by way of Uber), and from his part-time income at a cheque-cashing shop. Most months, their income exceeds their family expenses; sometimes it doesn’t, so they both borrow and save.