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November 30, 2023

Evaluating the Success of the War on Poverty since 1963 Using an Absolute Full-Income Poverty Measure

Abstract We evaluate progress in the War on Poverty as President Lyndon B. Johnson defined it, which established a 20% baseline poverty rate and adopted an absolute standard. While the…

October 30, 2023

The Effect of Elevating the Supplemental Poverty Measure on Government Program Eligibility and Spending

Abstract A recent National Academy of Sciences report recommends elevating the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) to the “nation’s headline poverty statistic.” I project how making the SPM the official poverty…

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…

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…

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…

July 2, 2021

Addressing the Shortcomings of the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Key Points The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) partly improves on the Official Poverty Measure but still suffers from several shortcomings that limit its usefulness as an effective poverty measure. The…