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, Pregnancy, and Birth Outcomes: A Study of the Earned Income Tax Credit Rita Hamad, David H. Rehkopf

Poverty, Pregnancy, and Birth Outcomes: A Study of the Earned Income Tax Credit

Author: Rita Hamad, David H. Rehkopf
Publisher: Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Date: 09/2015

Economic interventions are increasingly recognised as a mechanism to address perinatal health outcomes among disadvantaged groups. In the US, the earned income tax credit (EITC) is the largest poverty alleviation programme. Little is known about its effects on perinatal health among recipients and their children. We exploit quasi-random variation in the size of EITC payments to examine the effects of income on perinatal health. We find that EITC payment size is associated with better levels of several indicators of perinatal health. Instrumental variables analysis, however, does not reveal a causal association between household income and these health measures.

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

poverty - CPI Affiliates

Bryan S. Graham's picture Bryan S. Graham Associate Professor of Economics
University of California, Berkeley
Mario Luis Small's picture Mario Luis Small Grafstein Family Professor, Department of Sociology
Harvard University
Markus Gangl's picture Markus Gangl Professor of Sociology
Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
Marta Tienda's picture Marta Tienda Professor, Maurice P. During '22 Professor in Demographic Studies; Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs; Director, Program in Latino Studies
Princeton University
Mary Pattillo's picture Mary Pattillo Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Northwestern University

Pages

Poverty - Other Research

Title Author Media
Jobless Poverty: A New Form of Social Dislocation in the Inner-City Ghetto William Julius Wilson

Jobless Poverty: A New Form of Social Dislocation in the Inner-City Ghetto

Author: William Julius Wilson
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Date:
Divergent paths: economic mobility in the new American labor market Martina Morris, Mark Stephen Handcock, Marc A....

Divergent paths: economic mobility in the new American labor market

Author: Martina Morris, Mark Stephen Handcock, Marc A....
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Date:
Job Loss at Mid-life: Managers and Executives Face the “New Risk Economy Ruby Mendenhall, Ariel Kalil, Laurel J. Spindel,...

Job Loss at Mid-life: Managers and Executives Face the “New Risk Economy

Author: Ruby Mendenhall, Ariel Kalil, Laurel J. Spindel,...
Publisher: Social Forces
Date:
Hard Choices: How Women Decide about Work, Career, and Motherhood Kathleen Gerson

Hard Choices: How Women Decide about Work, Career, and Motherhood

Author: Kathleen Gerson
Publisher: University of California Press
Date:
Halving Global Poverty Timothy Besley and Robin Burgess

Halving Global Poverty

Author: Timothy Besley and Robin Burgess
Publisher: Journal of Economic Perspectives
Date: