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Filling the "Poverty Gap": Multiple Transfer Program Participation

Daniel Weinberg ()

Journal of Human Resources, 1985, vol. 20, issue 1, 64-89

Abstract: ata from the 1979 Income Survey Development Program are used to describe multiple transfer program participation and its effect on the poverty rate and the poverty gap. Of 87.1 million U.S. families and unrelated individuals, 40 percent received some government transfer in April 1979. Further, more than 80 percent of pretransfer poor families received some transfer. The benefits received by the elderly succeeded in reducing their poverty rate from 68 to 10 percent and reducing their poverty gap by 96 percent. In contrast, government transfers reduced the poverty rate for single-parent families from a pretransfer rate of 48 percent to a posttransfer rate of 30 percent. An examination of target efficiency indicates that 82 percent of all income-conditioned transfers go to the pretransfer poor.

Date: 1985
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