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October 24, 2023

Testimony: The Consequences of Redrawing the Poverty Line

Chairman Smith, Chairman LaHood, Ranking Member Davis, and distinguished members of theSubcommittee on Work and Welfare, thank you for the opportunity to testify on povertymeasurement. My name is Kevin Corinth, and I am a Senior Fellow and the Deputy Director ofthe Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility at the American Enterprise Institute. Thistestimony reflects my…

October 17, 2023

Understanding Poverty Measurement

COSM scholars and AEI affiliates include some of the nation’s foremost experts on poverty measurement. On October 17, COSM gathered several of these scholars to provide a primer on opportunity in the United States. Angela Rachidi began by exploring the meaning of poverty, outlining the most fundamental decisions in measuring it and describing how different…

October 11, 2023

CHANGING THE OFFICIAL POVERTY MEASURE WOULD HELP RICH STATES AND HURT POOR STATES

Earlier this year, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report recommended elevating the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) to the “nation’s headline poverty statistic,” and noted that the Office of Management and Budget could christen the SPM as the new official poverty measure. This action would require no Congressional input. The two interactive maps below report…

October 5, 2023

Changing the Official Poverty Measure Would Help Rich States and Hurt Poor States

In this post I discuss the policy implications of declaring the Supplemental Poverty Measure the new official measure, an action that could be taken unilaterally by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget without any input from Congress. First, I report how eligibility for major means-tested programs would substantially rise in higher income…

February 1, 2023

The Change in Poverty from 1995 to 2016 Among Single‐​Parent Families

Whether poverty has risen or fallen over time is a key barometer of societal progress. Between 1970 and 2020, the official poverty rate in the United States fell by just 1.2 percentage points (9.5 percent), suggesting limited economic gains for the disadvantaged despite large investments in anti‐​poverty programs. In contrast, several recent studies have found much…

August 23, 2021

Policies to Help the Working Class in the Aftermath of COVID-19: Lessons from the Great Recession

By Richard V. Burkhauser, Kevin C. Corinth, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated government-mandated shutdowns caused a historic shock to the U.S. economy and a disproportionate job loss concentrated among the working class. While an unprecedented social safety net policy response successfully offset earnings losses among lower-wage workers, the risk of…

July 2, 2021

Addressing the Shortcomings of the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Key Points Read the PDF. Executive Summary The US Census Bureau publishes the Supplemen­tal Poverty Measure (SPM) each year to provide important information on low-income Americans’ well-being. In early 2021, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) panel formed to evaluate and recommend improve­ments to the SPM. To inform the NASEM panel and…