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Measuring Poverty and Economic Inclusion: The Current Poverty Measure, the NAS Alternative, and the Case for a Truly New Approach

Shawn Fremstad
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Dean Baker

CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs from Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Abstract: This report examines the current U.S. poverty measure and finds that it has failed to keep up with public consensus on the minimum amount of income needed to “get along” in the United States in the 21st Century. The author then examines a potential approach to revising the measure, based on recommendations made by a National Academy of Sciences panel in 1995, that improves in some ways on the current measure, but has serious limitations of its own that require further research before it is adopted. Moreover, the NAS approach results in a poverty measure that would remain far below the public’s get-along level. This report concludes by suggesting a truly new approach that the incoming Administration should adopt- a “tiered” poverty and economic-inclusion measure that is modeled on the child poverty measure adopted in 2003 by the United Kingdom.

Keywords: federal poverty line; poverty rate; poverty; NAS poverty rate (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D D63 E6 I I3 I32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 47 pages
Date: 2008-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc and nep-cfn
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc

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Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2008-36