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On Intra-Annual Poverty in the U.S.: Prevalence, Causes and Response to Food Stamp Program Use

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  • Mykerezi, Elton
  • Mills, Bradford F.

Abstract

Poverty measurement with data whose reference period is one year masks family exposure to poverty that only lasts for part of the year. We use quarterly expenditure data and decomposable severity of poverty indexes to quantify consumption-based intra-annual poverty, determine its causes and its response to federal food assistance. Results show that twice as many households are poor for at least one quarter then would be classified as poor with annual consumption data. Severity indexes indicate that intra-annual poverty accounts for over one third of the total annual severity of poverty. The common determinants of intra-annual and annual poverty include low human capital, unemployment and minority status. Changes in family size during the year affect intra-annual but not annual poverty. We also find evidence that food stamp program use reduces intra-annual poverty.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/49095
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 49095.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umaesp:49095

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Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty;

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References

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  1. Breunig, Robert & Dasgupta, Indraneel & Gundersen, Craig & Pattanaik, Prasanta, 2001. "Explaining The Food Stamp Cash-Out Puzzle," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33869, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  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. Bruce D. Meyer & James Xavier Sullivan, 2000. "The Effects of Welfare Reform: The Living Conditions of Single Mothers in the 1980s and 1990s," JCPR Working Papers 206, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. Nord, Mark, 2005. "Measuring U.S. Household Food Security," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.
  5. Hilary W. Hoynes & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2006. "Poverty in America: Trends and Explanations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 47-68, Winter.
  6. Dean Jolliffe & Craig Gundersen & Laura Tiehen & Joshua Winicki, 2005. "Food Stamp Benefits and Child Poverty," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 569-581.
  7. Ribar, David C. & Hamrick, Karen S., 2003. "Dynamics Of Poverty And Food Sufficiency," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33851, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  8. Craig Gundersen & Victor Oliveira, 2001. "The Food Stamp Program and Food Insufficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 875-887.
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