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Using the American community survey to create a National Academy of Sciences-style poverty measure: Work by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Levitan

    (Director, Poverty Research, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity)

  • Christine D'Onofrio

    (Senior Research Associate, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity)

  • Gayatri Koolwal

    (Economist, World Bank)

  • John Krampner

    (Research Associates, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity)

  • Daniel Scheer

    (Research Associates, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity)

  • Todd Seidel

    (Research Associates, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity)

  • Vicky Virgin

    (Demographic Analyst, New York City Department of City Planning)

Abstract

The need to improve the U.S. poverty measure has received renewed attention as state and local governments have initiated antipoverty efforts and wish to judge their effect. This paper describes the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity's implementation of the National Academy of Sciences' recommendations for measuring poverty. The center's decision to use the Census Bureau's American Community Survey as its principal data source created the project's central challenge; many of the items needed to construct the academy's measure of resources are not included in the survey and needed to be estimated through a variety of methods. The resultant measure creates a higher poverty rate and a demographic profile of the poor that is quite different from that generated by the official measure. The paper concludes with observations about these differences and how this new picture of poverty has begun to influence policymaking in New York City. © 2010 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Levitan & Christine D'Onofrio & Gayatri Koolwal & John Krampner & Daniel Scheer & Todd Seidel & Vicky Virgin, 2010. "Using the American community survey to create a National Academy of Sciences-style poverty measure: Work by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 373-386.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:373-386
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20496
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pac, Jessica & Nam, Jaehyun & Waldfogel, Jane & Wimer, Chris, 2017. "Young child poverty in the United States: Analyzing trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs using the Supplemental Poverty Measure," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 35-49.
    2. Liana Fox & Irwin Garfinkel & Neeraj Kaushal & Jane Waldfogel & Christopher Wimer, 2014. "Waging War on Poverty: Historical Trends in Poverty Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure," NBER Working Papers 19789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.

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