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Poverty in Metropolitan Areas of the U.S.: Causes and Consequences


  • Donald G. Freeman

    () (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)

  • Vijay K. Mathur

    () (Department of Economics, Cleveland State University)


This paper re-examines the determinants of poverty using a pooled data set of 331 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) measured over four decennial censuses from 1970 to 2000. Our principal conclusions are that the determinants of poverty that we have identified are relatively stable predictors of poverty levels, but that results for first differences are sensitive to the time period of estimation. We also examine whether poverty as an initial condition has an effect on future growth in incomes and/or employment, and our tentative conclusion is that a higher level of existing poverty is indeed a detriment to future growth.

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  • Donald G. Freeman & Vijay K. Mathur, 2003. "Poverty in Metropolitan Areas of the U.S.: Causes and Consequences," Working Papers 0302, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:0302

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sawhill, Isabel V, 1988. "Poverty in the U.S.: Why Is It So Persistent?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1073-1119, September.
    2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    3. William Levernier, 2003. "An Analysis of Poverty in the American South: How Are Metropolitan Areas Different from Nonmetropolitan Areas?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(3), pages 372-382, July.
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    5. William Levernier & Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2000. "The Causes of Regional Variations in U.S. Poverty: A Cross-County Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 473-497.
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