Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States
Official measures of poverty in the United States are compiled by the Census Bureau by comparing a household's income level to a prespecified threshold. From a theoretical perspective it is more appropriate to evaluate the level of poverty using a consumption-based measure of household welfare. This paper evaluate s the level of poverty using expenditure data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. It finds that consumption-based poverty rates ar e much lower than income-based ones. The trend in the poverty rate in the United States is sensitive to the price index and equivalence scales used to adjust the poverty thresholds. Copyright 1993 by University of Chicago Press.
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