Poverty and Deep Poverty

  • Kathryn Edin
  • Linda Burton
  • David Grusky

Leaders: Linda Burton, Kathryn Edin, David Grusky

The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) reveals substantial post-1970 reductions in poverty under a constant (i.e., “anchored”) threshold, but this trend masks worrisome developments at the very bottom of the distribution. Although the overall SPM has trended downward since 1970, the SPM for households with less than half of the anchored threshold level (i.e., “deep poverty”) has remained stable since 1968. Even more worrying, the most extreme forms of poverty, such as living on less than $2 per day (per person), have in fact increased over the last two decades. The main tasks of our Poverty and Deep Poverty RG are to describe trends in poverty and deep poverty, to assess the effectiveness of current anti-poverty programs, and to examine the likely payoff to introducing new anti-poverty programs. We present a sampling of relevant projects below.

Frequent Reporting Project: Why are unemployment statistics reported monthly whereas poverty statistics are reported only once a year (and with such a long lag)? The CPI is hard at work solving this problem.

California Poverty Project: The CPI, in collaboration with the Public Policy Institute of California, issues the California Poverty Measure (CPM) annually. There are plans afoot to make it an even more powerful policy instrument. 

Ending Poverty in California: Is it possible to substantially reduce poverty in California by relying entirely on evidence-based programs? It indeed is.

The National Poverty StudyThe country’s one-size-fits-all poverty policy ignores the seemingly profound differences between suburban poverty, immigrant poverty, reservation poverty, rural white poverty, deindustrializing poverty, and the many other ways in which massive deprivation plays out in the U.S. The National Poverty Study, which will be the country’s first qualitative census of poverty, takes on the problem.

Income supports and deep poverty: The U.S. does not rely heavily on unconditional cash transfers in its poverty programming. Is this a mistake? The CPI is assisting Y Combinator in providing the first U.S. evidence on unconditional income support since the negative income tax experiments of the 1970s.

Disability and deep poverty: The country’s disability programs are an important anti-poverty weapon. In evaluating their effectiveness, it is important to determine whether the low employment rates among program recipients reflects an underlying (low) capacity for employment, as opposed to the labor-supply effects of the programs themselves. Although it’s long been difficult to assess such labor-supply effects, now there’s a way forward.

Evictions and deep and extreme poverty: Are evictions an important cause of deep and extreme poverty? This line of research examines the extent to which deep and extreme poverty can be reduced with a “housing first” policy that ramps up federal housing programs.

Deep poverty and TANF add-ons: The country is implicitly running hundreds of experiments on how best to structure TANF programs, but it hasn’t had the capacity to evaluate them. Are administrative data the answer?

Poverty - CPI Research

Title Author Media
Poverty and Deep Poverty in California Christopher Wimer, Marybeth Mattingly, Sara Kimberlin, Caroline Danielson, Sarah Bohn

Poverty and Deep Poverty in California

Author: Christopher Wimer, Marybeth Mattingly, Sara Kimberlin, Caroline Danielson, Sarah Bohn
Publisher:
Date: 06/2015
Reducing Poverty in California...Permanently Conway Collis, David B. Grusky, Sara Kimberlin, Courtney Powers, Sandra Sanchez

Reducing Poverty in California...Permanently

Author: Conway Collis, David B. Grusky, Sara Kimberlin, Courtney Powers, Sandra Sanchez
Publisher: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Date: 05/2015

What if we decided to go beyond the usual lip-service commitments to reducing poverty and actually tried to do something big? Learn more about a new plan to reduce poverty—substantially and permanently—in California.

Why Isn't the Hispanic Poverty Rate Rising? Marybeth J. Mattingly, Juan M. Pedroza

Why Isn't the Hispanic Poverty Rate Rising?

Author: Marybeth J. Mattingly, Juan M. Pedroza
Publisher: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Date: 05/2015

It is often assumed that, as the size of the undocumented population grows, poverty rates among Hispanics will increase. But in fact poverty rates have proven to be stable. Why?

Why is There So Much Poverty in California? The Causes of California's Sky-High Poverty and the Evidence Behind the Equal Opportunity Plan for Reducing It David B. Grusky, Marion Coddou, Erin Cumberworth, Jonathan Fisher, Jared Furuta, Jasmine Hill, Sara Kimberlin, Molly King, Yana Kucheva, Ryan Leupp, Marybeth Mattingly, Natassia Rodriguez, Charles Varner, Rachel Wright

Why is There So Much Poverty in California? The Causes of California's Sky-High Poverty and the Evidence Behind the Equal Opportunity Plan for Reducing It

Author: David B. Grusky, Marion Coddou, Erin Cumberworth, Jonathan Fisher, Jared Furuta, Jasmine Hill, Sara Kimberlin, Molly King, Yana Kucheva, Ryan Leupp, Marybeth Mattingly, Natassia Rodriguez, Charles Varner, Rachel Wright
Publisher:
Date: 05/2015
State of the States: Poverty Marybeth J. Mattingly, Charles Varner

State of the States: Poverty

Author: Marybeth J. Mattingly, Charles Varner
Publisher:
Date: 02/2015

Poverty - CPI Affiliates

David Betson Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics University of Notre Dame
David Neumark Founding Director, Economic Self-Sufficiency Policy Research Institute (ESSPRI); Professor of Economics University of California, Irvine
Edmund S. Phelps McVickar Professor of Political Economy Columbia University
Emily Hannum Assistant Professor of Sociology Univerisity of Pennsylvania
Frank D. Bean Chancellor's Professor of Sociology and Economics; Director, Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy University of California, Irvine

Pages

Poverty - Other Research

Title Author Media
Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching Society of American Law Teachers, Golden Gate...

Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching

Author: Society of American Law Teachers, Golden Gate...
Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
Date: 03/2011

The essays included in this volume began as presentations at the March 19–20, 2010 “Vulnerable Populations and Economic Realities” teaching conference organized and hosted by Golden Gate University School of Law and co-sponsored by the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). That conference, generously funded by a grant from The Elfenworks Foundation, brought together law faculty, practitioners, and students to reexamine how issues of race, gender, sexual identity, nationality, disability, and generally—outsider status—are linked to poverty. Contributors have transformed their presentations into essays, offering a variety of roadmaps for incorporating these issues into the law school curriculum, both inside the classroom as well as in clinical and externship settings, study abroad, and social activism. These essays provide glimpses into “teaching moments,” both intentional and organic, to help trigger opportunities for students and faculty to question their own perceptions and experiences about who creates and interprets law, and who has access to power and the force of law. This book expands the parameters of law teaching so that this next generation of attorneys will be dedicated to their roles as public citizens, broadening the availability of justice. Contributors include: John Payton; Richard Delgado; Steven W. Bender; Sarah Valentine; Deborah Post and Deborah Zalesne; Gilbert Paul Carrasco; Michael L. Perlin and Deborah Dorfman; Robin R. Runge; Cynthia D. Bond; Florence Wagman Roisman; Doug Simpson; Anne Marie Harkins and Robin Clark; Douglas Colbert; Raquel Aldana and Leticia Saucedo, Marci Seville; Deirdre Bowen, Daniel Bonilla Maldonado, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Colin Crawford, and James Forman, Jr.; Susan Rutberg; Mary B. Culbert and Sara Campos; MaryBeth Musumeci, Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, and Brutrinia D. Arellano; Libby Adler; and Paulette J. Williams. The editorial board includes Raquel Aldana, Steven Bender, Olympia Duhart, Michele Benedetto Neitz, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Hari Osofsky, and Hazel Weiser.

Further Results on Measuring the Well-being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption Bruce D. Meyer, James X. Sullivan

Further Results on Measuring the Well-being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption

Author: Bruce D. Meyer, James X. Sullivan
Publisher: Canadian Journal of Economics
Date: 02/2011

We evaluate the relative merits of income- and consumption-based measures of well-being. Our results provide evidence that consumption better captures well-being for those with few resources. The bottom deciles of expenditures exceed those of income, suggesting under-reporting of income. The under-reporting rate for government transfers is high and rising. Overall non-response is more severe in U.S. income data than in expenditure data. Furthermore, a consumption data set requires fewer observations than an income data set to obtain the same level of precision for typical estimates. Finally, very low consumption is more strongly related to other bad outcomes than very low income.

 

The Impact of Early Experience on Childhood Brain Development: Nathan Fox Nathan Fox

The Impact of Early Experience on Childhood Brain Development: Nathan Fox

Author: Nathan Fox
Publisher:
Date: 04/2010

On April 13, 2010, the Center on Children and Families at Brookings and the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University sponsored an event that focused on the science of early brain development and the role that chronic stress early in life plays in the arrested development of children raised in risky situations. The policy implications of these and similar findings were discussed. This segment features Nathan A. Fox, Professor, University of Maryland, describing pioneering work that he and his colleagues carried out in Bucharest, Romania, looking at how institutionalization of children can profoundly harm children’s brain development.


The Invisible Safety Net: Protecting the Nation's Poor Children and Families Currie, Janet M.

The Invisible Safety Net: Protecting the Nation's Poor Children and Families

Author: Currie, Janet M.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Date: 11/2008
The Economic Lives of the Poor Banerjee, Abhijit, Ester Duflo

The Economic Lives of the Poor

Author: Banerjee, Abhijit, Ester Duflo
Publisher: Journal of Economic Perspectives
Date: 10/2006