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Has Poverty Gotten Worse?

  • Robert K. Triest

The official U.S. government figures showed an increase in the poverty rate from 11.1 percent in 1973 to 13.8 percent in 1995. However, some maintain that this upward trend is due to defects in the official poverty measure. This paper analyzes alternative measures of poverty and concludes that nearly all reasonable alternatives show similar trends in poverty over the recent past. There has been an increase in the percentage of people in the United States who are poor, although one can argue that the official Census figures either understate or somewhat overstate the increase.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.12.1.97
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 12 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 97-114

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:12:y:1998:i:1:p:97-114
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.1.97
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  1. Rebecca M. Blank & Alan S. Blinder, 1985. "Macroeconomics, Income Distribution, and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 1567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
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