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Cohabitation and the Measurement of Child Poverty

Author

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  • Carlson, Marcia
  • Danziger, Sheldon

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlson, Marcia & Danziger, Sheldon, 1999. "Cohabitation and the Measurement of Child Poverty," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(2), pages 179-191, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:45:y:1999:i:2:p:179-91
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence James & Besley, Tim & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "Participation and poverty reduction," FCND briefs 98, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Menon, Purnima & Ruel, Marie T. & Morris, Saul Sutkover, 2000. "Socio-economic differentials in child stunting are consistently larger in urban than rural areas," FCND briefs 97, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Lindquist & Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist, 2012. "The dynamics of child poverty in Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 1423-1450.
    2. Matthew Lindquist & Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist, 2012. "The dynamics of child poverty in Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 1423-1450.
    3. Sheela Kennedy & Catherine Fitch, 2012. "Measuring Cohabitation and Family Structure in the United States: Assessing the Impact of New Data From the Current Population Survey," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1479-1498, November.
    4. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2000. "Inequality and poverty in the United States: the effects of changing family behavior and rising wage dispersion," Working Paper Series 2000-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    5. Miguel Székely & Marianne Hilgert, 2000. "What Drives Differences in Inequality Across Countries?," Research Department Publications 4243, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    6. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Scott Houser, 2000. "How Well Can We Track Cohabitation Using the SIPP? A Consideration of Direct and Inferred Measures," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 30, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    7. Susan L. Brown & Wendy D. Manning & Krista K. Payne, 2016. "Family Structure and Children’s Economic Well-Being: Incorporating Same-Sex Cohabiting Mother Families," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), pages 1-21.
    8. Miguel Székely & Marianne Hilgert, 2000. "¿Qué hay detrás de las diferencias en la desigualdad entre los países?," Research Department Publications 4244, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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