IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Alternative Measures of Income Poverty and the Anti-Poverty Effects of Taxes and Transfers


  • Daniel Weinberg


The Census Bureau prepared a number of alternative income-based measures of poverty to illustrate the distributional impacts of several alternatives to the official measure. The paper examines five income variants for two different units of analysis (families and households) for two different assumptions about inflation (the historical Consumer Price Index and a “Research Series” alternative that uses current methods) for two different sets of thresholds (official and a formula-based alternative base on three parameters). The poverty rate effects are analyzed for the total population, the distributional effects are analyzed using poverty shares, and the anti-poverty effects of taxes and transfers are analyzed using a percentage reduction in poverty rates. Suggestions for future research are included.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Weinberg, 2005. "Alternative Measures of Income Poverty and the Anti-Poverty Effects of Taxes and Transfers," Working Papers 05-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:05-08

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2005
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1999. "Is There a Discretion in Wage Setting? A Test Using Takeover Legislation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 535-554, Autumn.
    3. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A., 1995. "Corporate focus and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 67-87, January.
    4. Schipper, Katherine & Smith, Abbie, 1983. "Effects of recontracting on shareholder wealth : The case of voluntary spin-offs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 437-467, December.
    5. McGuckin, Robert H. & Nguyen, Sang V., 2001. "The impact of ownership changes: a view from labor markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 739-762, April.
    6. John, Teresa A., 1993. "Optimality of Spin-Offs and Allocation of Debt," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(01), pages 139-160, March.
    7. Sang V Nguyen, 1998. "The Manufacturing Plant Ownership Change Database: Its Construction And Usefulness," Working Papers 98-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Miles, James A & Rosenfeld, James D, 1983. " The Effect of Voluntary Spin-Off Announcements on Shareholder Wealth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1597-1606, December.
    9. Antoinette Schoar, 2002. "Effects of Corporate Diversification on Productivity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2379-2403, December.
    10. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1988. "The Impact of Firm Acquisitions on Labor," NBER Chapters,in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 9-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Chemmanur, Thomas J. & Yan, An, 2004. "A theory of corporate spin-offs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 259-290, May.
    12. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
    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. Daniel Weinberg, 2006. "Measuring Poverty in the United States: History and Current Issues," Working Papers 06-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Signe-Mary McKernan & Caroline Ratcliffe, 2008. "The dynamics of poverty in the United States: A review of data, methods, and findings," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 577-605.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:cen:wpaper:05-08. 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: (Erica Coates). 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.