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Cohabitation and the Measurement of Child Poverty

  • Carlson, Marcia
  • Danziger, Sheldon
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    The authors use 1990 U.S. Census of Population data to calculate what poverty rates would have been if cohabitors were treated in the same manner as married couples. They find that the official treatment of cohabiting partners as separate family units overstated the extent of poverty in 1989 among all children by about 3 percent. Only about 11 percent of the observed rise in child poverty between 1969 and 1989 would be eliminated if the Census Bureau made this change in its definition of the family. The authors estimate a logistic regression model of the likelihood that poor, cohabiting families with children would be reclassified as non-poor if the cohabitor's income were included in family income. They find that many of these families would remain poor despite this change in measurement procedure because many cohabitors have low annual earnings or no earnings at all. Copyright 1999 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

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    Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income & Wealth.

    Volume (Year): 45 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 179-91

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:45:y:1999:i:2:p:179-91
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