IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Budget-Based Definition of Poverty: With an Application to Single-Parent Families


  • Trudi J. Renwick
  • Barbara R. Bergmann


An approach to defining poverty through a "Basic Needs Budget" (BNB) is presented which takes account of families' differing needs for child care and transportation, and of regional differences in housing costs. Taxes and noncash benefits from governmental and private sources are also accounted for. The BNB poverty rate for single parents for 1989 is 47 percent, compared to 39 percent under the official method; almost a quarter of single parents holding full-time jobs are counted as poor under the BNB method. Radical reduction in both the welfare rolls and the poverty rate would require government assurance of child care and medical care to single parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Trudi J. Renwick & Barbara R. Bergmann, 1993. "A Budget-Based Definition of Poverty: With an Application to Single-Parent Families," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:28:y:1993:i:1:p:1-24

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L., 2000. "The effects of unemployment insurance on postunemployment earnings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-53, January.
    2. Pedro Portugal & John T. Addison, 1990. "Problems of Sample Construction in Studies of the Effects of Unemployment Insurance on Unemployment Duration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 463-477, July.
    3. Barlevy, Gadi, 2001. "Why Are the Wages of Job Changers So Procyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 837-878, October.
    4. Belzil, Christian, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment over Time: An Analysis with Event History Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 113-126, February.
    5. Bowlus, Audra J, 1995. "Matching Workers and Jobs: Cyclical Fluctuations in Match Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 335-350, April.
    6. Christian Belzil, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and subsequent job duration: job matching versus unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 619-636.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gottlieb, Daniel & Manor, Roy, 2005. "On the Choice of a Policy-oriented Poverty Measure: The Case of Israel 1997-2002," MPRA Paper 3842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Thesia I. Garner & Katherine S. Short, 2008. "Creating a Consistent Poverty Measure Over Time Using NAS Procedures: 1996-2005," Working Papers 417, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    3. Mark R. Rank & Thomas A. Hirschl, 2001. "Poverty across the Life Cycle: Evidence from the PSID," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 737-755.
    4. Julie A. Nelson, 1995. "Feminism and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 131-148, Spring.
    5. Trudi Renwick, 1998. "Basic Needs Budgets Revisited: Does the U.S. Consumer Price Index Overestimate the Changes in the Cost of Living for Low-Income Families?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 129-142.
    6. Thesia I. Garner & Kathleen Short, 2005. "Economic Well-Being Based on Income, Consumer Expenditures and Personal Assessments of Minimal Needs," Working Papers 381, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    7. Roderick Rose & Susan Parish & Joan Yoo, 2009. "Measuring Material Hardship among the US Population of Women with Disabilities Using Latent Class Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 391-415, December.
    8. Shawn Fremstad, 2010. "A Modern Framework for Measuring Poverty and Basic Economic Security," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-12, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:28:y:1993:i:1:p:1-24. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.