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Tim Slack

Professor of Sociology, Louisiana State University
Chapter Member: New Orleans SSN
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About Tim

Slack’s scholarly interests are in the areas of social stratification and social demography, with emphasis on forms of economic and spatial inequality. Recent and ongoing research projects include studies of working poverty and other forms of underemployment; household livelihood strategies, including participation in the informal economy (i.e., unrecorded work for cash, barter, and self-provisioning); and various aspects of regional inequality (e.g., place-based poverty dynamics, food stamp program participation, disaster vulnerability and resilience, etc.).


The Great Recession and America's Underemployment Crisis

  • Leif Jensen

In the News

Tim Slack quoted on the effects of high travel and gas costs on rural working communities by Clifford Krauss, "Rural U.S. Takes Worst Hit as Gas Tops $4 Average" New York Times, June 9, 2008.
Tim Slack quoted on how gas prices can cause economic hardship, "Higher Gas Prices Hit Rural Americans Hard" Christian Science Monitor, 2005.


"The Great Recession and the Changing Geography of Food Stamp Receipt" (with Candice A. Myers). Population Research and Policy Review 33, no. 1 (2014): 63-79.
Shows that places where the signature characteristics of the Great Recession were most pronounced (i.e., home foreclosures and unemployment) were precisely the places where SNAP caseloads jumped most, not places with historically high levels of SNAP participation.
"Understanding the Geography of Food Stamp Program Participation: Do Space and Place Matter?" (with Candice A. Myers). Social Science Research 41, no. 2 (2012): 263-275.
Shows that the high economic distress that has long characterized Appalachia, the Borderland, and the Delta translates into greater reliance on the FSP relative to other areas of the country, net of other local and state-level characteristics.
"Working Poverty across the Metro-Nonmetro Divide: A Quarter-Century in Perspective, 1979-2003" Rural Sociology 75 (2010): 363-387.
Shows how working poverty has persistently had a disproportionate impact on rural families over a 25 year period, but that there is also a trend toward residential convergence as working poverty in metropolitan areas has climbed toward the levels experienced in rural areas.
"Employment Hardship among Older Workers: Does Residential and Gender Inequality Extend into Older Age?" (with Leif Jensen). Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 63, no. 1 (2008): S15-S24.
Shows clear disadvantages for older workers relative to their middle-aged counterparts in terms of the likelihood of underemployment, and particular disadvantages for older rural residents and women.
"Underemployment across Immigrant Generations" (with Leif Jensen). Social Science Research 36, no. 4 (2007): 1415-1430.
Shows the prevalence of underemployment is decidedly higher among first-generation immigrants compared to those who are second generation or higher. These gross comparisons, however, mask important variation within immigrant generations, including a particular disadvantage for foreign-born non-citizens.