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Regional differences in family poverty

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  • Robert K. Triest

Abstract

Poverty rates vary considerably over regions, as do the demographic characteristics of the poor, but why the extent of poverty varies as much as it does across different regions of the country is not fully understood. This is an unfortunate gap in our knowledge, since it is difficult to analyze how recent changes in federal anti-poverty policy will affect the regional distribution of poverty without a better understanding of current regional differences in the poverty rate.> The main goal of this article is to shed some light on why poverty rates vary as much as they do in different areas. The analysis shows that much of the regional variation in poverty rates can be accounted for by differences across regions in the distribution of potential family earnings: what families could be expected to earn if all their adult members worked full-time, relative to the poverty threshold for the family. Other factors, such as unemployment and whether the family recently immigrated to the United States, also are important in determining the poverty status of individual families, but play a somewhat smaller role than earnings capacity in explaining regional differences in poverty rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert K. Triest, 1997. "Regional differences in family poverty," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 3-17.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbne:y:1997:i:jan:p:3-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Fortune, 1991. "The municipal bond market, Part I: politics, taxes, and yields," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 13-36.
    2. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-239, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Seong-Hoon Cho & Suhyun Jung & Roland K. Roberts & Seung Gyu Kim, 2012. "Interrelationship between poverty and the wildland--urban interface in metropolitan areas of the Southern US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(11), pages 1405-1416, April.
    2. Howard Chernick, 1998. "Fiscal Effects of Block Grants for the Needy: An Interpretation of the Evidence," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(2), pages 205-233, May.
    3. Sooriyakumar Krishnapillai & Henry Kinnucan, 2012. "The effects of automobile production and local government expenditure on poverty in alabama," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2136-2145.
    4. William Levernier & Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2000. "The Causes of Regional Variations in U.S. Poverty: A Cross-County Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 473-497.
    5. Rupasingha, Anil & Goetz, Stephan J., 2007. "Social and political forces as determinants of poverty: A spatial analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 650-671, August.
    6. Jung, Suhyun & Cho, Seong-Hoon & Roberts, Roland K., 2009. "Public Expenditure and Poverty Reduction in the Southern United States," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 47145, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    7. Nizalov, Denys & Schmid, A. Allan, 2004. "Regional Poverty In Michigan: Rural And Urban Difference," Staff Papers 11782, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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    Keywords

    Poverty;

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