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Poverty in America: Trends and Explanations

Author

Listed:
  • Hilary W. Hoynes
  • Marianne E. Page
  • Ann Huff Stevens

Abstract

Despite robust growth in real GDP per capita in the last three decades, U.S. poverty rates have changed very little. We summarize some basic facts about poverty in the United States, relying on a combination of previously published data from the Census Bureau and our own tabulations based on Current Population Survey data. We then discuss and evaluate four determinants of changes in the poverty rate that have been advanced in the literature: the impact of labor market opportunities; the role of changes in family structure; the role played by government antipoverty programs; and the role of immigration.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:20:y:2006:i:1:p:47-68
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533006776526102
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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