Monitoring Poverty

An issue dedicated to exploring the first major advance in poverty measurement in a half century. Does the new poverty measure tell a new story about poverty?

Table of Contents (Fall 2011)


Spotlight on... Homeless Prenatal Program
Is there a simple economic case for investing in homeless mothers in San Francisco? The Homeless Prenatal Program suggests there is.
How Rich Countries Lift Up the Poor
Many countries have experienced substantial economic growth in the last 30 years. But only some countries have passed on the fruits of this growth to the poor. What accounts for such differences in trickling down?


The Supplemental Poverty Measure: A New Tool for Understanding U.S. Poverty
One of the key architects of the new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) lays out the case for rethinking how we measure poverty, how we understand it, and even what to do about it.
Understanding Local Poverty: Lessons from New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity
Does an SPM-style measure actually work? A report from the trenches on how the new measure helps us assess and craft antipoverty policy.
The Future of U.S. Poverty Measurement
Is it the end of (poverty measurement) history? A discussion of how to move forward in our brave new post-SPM world.

Research in Brief

A Report on New Poverty and Inequality Research
More evidence on how credit cards hammer the poor; a new test of whether job ads create gender inequality in the labor market; a surprising ray of hope for the long-term unemployed; and other cutting-edge research.


Has the Great Recession Made Americans Stingier?
There's less money to go around in hard times. Have Americans responded to the downturn by reining in their signature commitment to helping the poor?