Predicting hunger and overcrowding: How much difference does income make?
A survey of AFDC recipients in California shows that income, even when adjusted for household need and augmented by the food stamp grant, poorly predicts hunger or overcrowding among respondents. Families with teenage boys report hunger much more often than their incomes would predict, as do families whose finances have recently deteriorated. Families seem to cut back on food consumption before cutting back on housing. One-third of families with male teenagers and nearly one-fifth of families with preschoolers were hungry "sometimes" or "often." One-third of households had more than two people per bedroom. These conditions cannot be inferred accurately from data about income but they can be measured directly using surveys.
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- Danziger, Sheldon, et al, 1984. "The Direct Measurement of Welfare Levels: How Much Does It Cost to Make Ends Meet?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 500-505, August.
- Susan E. Mayer & Christopher Jencks, 1989. "Poverty and the Distribution of Material Hardship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 88-114.
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