Poverty and the Distribution of Material Hardship
Public concern with poverty derives in large part from the assumption that low income families cannot afford necessities. Yet official poverty statistics focus on measuring income, not on measuring material hardship. Two surveys of Chicago residents measure whether families could afford food, housing and medical care. A family's official income-to-needs ratio explained 24 percent of the variance in the amount of material hardship it reported. Adjustments for family size, age, health, noncash benefits, home ownership, and access to credit explain another 15 percent. Variations in permanent income explain almost none of the remaining variance in hardship. Among families with the same official income-to-needs ratio, material hardship varies by age, family size and composition.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:24:y:1989:i:1:p:88-114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.