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Has Macroeconomic Performance Regained Its Antipoverty Bite?




From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, several important studies examined the statistical relationship between the U.S. official poverty rate and overall economic performance. Most of these studies focused on the apparent break in this relationship beginning in the late 1970s or early 1980s. In this article, we present the results of our study of the relationship between macroeconomic performance and the poverty rate, using annual time-series data on macroeconomic variables, such as the unemployment rate and per-capita GDP growth from 1959 through 1998. Like these earlier studies, we also find that economic performance had a smaller antipoverty effect during the 1970s and 1980s than it did in earlier years. However, our estimates suggest that the weakened economic growth-poverty relationship may have been an aberration of this period and that the expected relationship of the 1960s has again been reestablished in the 1990s. This is true even after accounting for changes in earnings inequality over the entire period. Copyright 2000 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • R Haveman & J Schwabish, 2000. "Has Macroeconomic Performance Regained Its Antipoverty Bite?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(4), pages 415-427, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:18:y:2000:i:4:p:415-427

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
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    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1379-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Luis Ayala & Olga Cantó & Juan G. Rodríguez, 2011. "Poverty and the business cycle: The role of the intra-household distribution of unemployment," Working Papers 222, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Tindara Addabbo & Rosa García-Fernández & Carmen Llorca-Rodríguez & Anna Maccagnan, 2013. "The effect of the crisis on material deprivation in Italy and Spain," Department of Economics (DEMB) 0019, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    4. Donald G. Freeman, 2003. "Trickling Down the Rising Tide: New Estimates of the Link between Poverty and the Macroeconomy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 359-373, October.
    5. Steven Shulman, 2001. "Family structure and the afro-euro poverty gap: When employment policies aren't enough," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 47-66, December.
    6. Berthold, Norbert & Brunner, Alexander & Zenzen, Jupp, 2010. "Makroökonomische Rahmenbedingungen und die Einkommensverteilung: Welchen Einfluss hat die Finanzkrise?," Discussion Paper Series 108, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    7. Robert H. DeFina, 2002. "The impact of unemployment on alternative poverty measures," Working Papers 02-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    8. Carlos Gradín & Olga Cantó & Coral Río, 2017. "Measuring employment deprivation in the EU using a household-level index," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 639-667, June.
    9. repec:pri:crcwel:wp11-08-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Luis Ayala & Olga Cantó & Juan G. Rodríguez, 2017. "Poverty and the business cycle: A regional panel data analysis for Spain using alternative measures of unemployment," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(1), pages 47-73, March.
    11. Donald G. Freeman, 2003. "Poverty and the Macroeconomy: Estimates from U.S. Regional Data," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(3), pages 358-371, July.
    12. Natasha V. Pilkauskas & Janet Currie & Irwin Garfinkel, 2011. "The Great Recession and Material Hardship," Working Papers 1312, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    13. Carlos Gradin & Olga Canto & Coral del Rio, 2012. "Measuring employment deprivation among households in the EU," Working Papers 247, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

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