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Reconciliation of income and consumption data in poverty measurement

Author

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  • Richard Bavier

    (Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC)

Abstract

A recent series of papers has renewed interest in the question of whether consumption data are superior to income data for poverty measurement. Although the Census Bureau has provided researchers with an experimental series of variables that can produce a comprehensive income measure, this resource has not been fully exploited in previous analyses. When poverty is measured by a comprehensive income measure, income poverty rates and trends are similar to consumption poverty rates. Arguments that income is measured with more error than consumption at the bottom of the distribution are shown to be based upon inferior income data. © 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Bavier, 2008. "Reconciliation of income and consumption data in poverty measurement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 40-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:1:p:40-62
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan Fisher, 2006. "Income Imputation and the Analysis of Expenditure Data in the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Working Papers 394, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    2. Marc Roemer, 2002. "Using Administrative Earnings Records to Assess Wage Data Quality in the March Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Sheldon Danziger & Geng Li & Robert F. Schoeni, 2006. "Studying consumption with the Panel Study of Income Dynamics: comparisons with the Consumer Expenditure Survey and an application to the intergenerational transmission of well-being," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Christopher Jencks & Susan E. Mayer, "undated". "Do Official Poverty Rates Provide Useful Information about Trends in Children's Economic Welfare?," IPR working papers 96-1, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    5. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianne Bitler & Hilary Hoynes & Elira Kuka, 2017. "Child Poverty, the Great Recession, and the Social Safety Net in the United States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(2), pages 358-389, March.
    2. Brewer, Mike & O'Dea, Cormac, 2012. "Measuring living standards with income and consumption: evidence from the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Maharjan, Keshav Lall & Joshi, Niraj Prakash, 2009. "Relationship between Income-poverty and Food insecurity in Rural Far-western Mid-hills of Nepal," MPRA Paper 35378, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kenneth A. Couch & Maureen A. Pirog, 2010. "Poverty measurement in the U.S., Europe, and developing countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 217-226.
    5. Christopher Wimer & Liana Fox & Irwin Garfinkel & Neeraj Kaushal & Jane Waldfogel, 2016. "Progress on Poverty? New Estimates of Historical Trends Using an Anchored Supplemental Poverty Measure," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 1207-1218, August.
    6. Mike Brewer & Cormac O'Dea, 2012. "Measuring living standards with income and consumption: evidence from the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. Alessandra Michelangeli & Eugenio Peluso & Alain Trannoy, 2011. "Detecting a change in wealth concentration without the knowledge of the wealth distribution," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(3), pages 373-391, September.

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