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Presidential address: How to improve poverty measurement in the United States

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  • Rebecca M. Blank

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This paper discusses the reasons why the current official U.S. poverty measure is outdated and nonresponsive to many anti-poverty initiatives. A variety of efforts to update and improve the statistic have failed, for political, technical, and institutional reasons. Meanwhile, the European Union is taking a very different approach to poverty measurement. The paper ends with four recommended steps that would allow the U.S. to improve its measurement of poverty and economic need.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20323
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 233-254

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:233-254

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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References

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  1. Notten, Geranda & Neubourg, Chris de, 2007. "Relative or absolute poverty in the US and EU? The battle of the rates," MPRA Paper 5313, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 May 2007.
  2. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy Smeeding, 2006. "Poor People in Rich Nations: The United States in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 69-90, Winter.
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Cited by:
  1. Krishna, Anirudh & Shariff, Abusaleh, 2011. "The Irrelevance of National Strategies? Rural Poverty Dynamics in States and Regions of India, 1993-2005," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 533-549, April.
  2. Martin Ravallion & Shaohua Chen, 2011. "Weakly Relative Poverty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1251-1261, November.
  3. Joo, Myungkook, 2011. "Effects of federal programs on children: Absolute poverty, relative poverty, and income inequality," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1203-1211, July.
  4. Kenneth Couch & Maureen A. Pirog & Kenneth A. Couch & Maureen A. Pirog, 2010. "Poverty measurement in the U.S., Europe, and developing countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 217-226, 03.
  5. Andrea Brandolini & Silvia Magri & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Asset-based measurement of poverty," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 755, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2012. "Identifying the Disadvantaged: Official Poverty, Consumption Poverty, and the New Supplemental Poverty Measure," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 111-36, Summer.
  7. Liana Fox & Irwin Garfinkel & Neeraj Kaushal & Jane Waldfogel & Christopher Wimer, 2014. "Waging War on Poverty: Historical Trends in Poverty Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure," NBER Working Papers 19789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Anthony, Elizabeth K. & King, Bryn & Austin, Michael J., 2011. "Reducing child poverty by promoting child well-being: Identifying best practices in a time of great need," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1999-2009, October.
  9. Drake, Brett & Rank, Mark R., 2009. "The racial divide among American children in poverty: Reassessing the importance of neighborhood," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 1264-1271, December.
  10. Michelle Livermore & Rebecca Powers & Belinda Davis & Younghee Lim, 2011. "Failing to Make Ends Meet: Dubious Financial Success Among Employed Former Welfare to Work Program Participants," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 73-83, March.
  11. Shawn Fremstad, 2012. "Married … without Means: Poverty and Economic Hardship Among Married Americans," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2012-26, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

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