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Presidential address: How to improve poverty measurement in the United States

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  • Rebecca M. Blank

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This paper discusses the reasons why the current official U.S. poverty measure is outdated and nonresponsive to many anti-poverty initiatives. A variety of efforts to update and improve the statistic have failed, for political, technical, and institutional reasons. Meanwhile, the European Union is taking a very different approach to poverty measurement. The paper ends with four recommended steps that would allow the U.S. to improve its measurement of poverty and economic need.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca M. Blank, 2008. "Presidential address: How to improve poverty measurement in the United States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 233-254.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:233-254 DOI: 10.1002/pam.20323
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Timothy Smeeding, 2006. "Poor People in Rich Nations: The United States in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 69-90, Winter.
    3. Notten, Geranda & Neubourg, Chris de, 2007. "Relative or absolute poverty in the US and EU? The battle of the rates," MPRA Paper 5313, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 May 2007.
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