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

Prudence L. Carter's picture Prudence L. Carter Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Education
UC Berkeley
Ray Pahl's picture Ray Pahl Deceased
University of Essex
Robert Erikson's picture Robert Erikson Professor, Institute for Social Research
Stockholm University
Alberto Diaz-Cayeros's picture Alberto Diaz-Cayeros Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law (CDDRL); Director of the Center for Latin American Studies; Professor of Political Science (by courtesy)
Stanford University
Sandra Susan Smith's picture Sandra Susan Smith Assistant Professor, Sociology
University of California, Berkeley

Pages

Poverty - Other Research

Title Author Media
The Dual Economy Averitt, Robert T.

The Dual Economy

Author: Averitt, Robert T.
Publisher: New York: Norton
Date:
Punishment and Inequality in America Bruce Western

Punishment and Inequality in America

Author: Bruce Western
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Date:
Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century Harry Braverman

Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century

Author: Harry Braverman
Publisher: Monthly Review Press
Date:
Outsourcing at Will: The Contribution of Unjust Dismissal Doctrine to the Growth of Employment Outsourcing David H. Autor

Outsourcing at Will: The Contribution of Unjust Dismissal Doctrine to the Growth of Employment Outsourcing

Author: David H. Autor
Publisher: Journal of Labor Economics
Date:
Down and Out in America: The Origins of Homelessness Rossi, Peter H.

Down and Out in America: The Origins of Homelessness

Author: Rossi, Peter H.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press.
Date: