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Federal and Local Efforts to Modernize the Poverty Measure

January 11, 2010

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The current poverty measure is based on a methodology developed in the 1960s and now widely recognized as outdated. However, efforts to develop a modern poverty measure that reflects current spending patterns, geographic differences in the cost of living, and government tax and benefit policies are underway.

The National Center for Children in Poverty hosted a webinar on modernizing the poverty measure that covered the following topics:

  • Current poverty measure and its flaws
  • Alternative measures and their impact
  • Measuring American Poverty Act of 2009 and key issues under debate
  • Implications of a revised measure on current poverty rates
  • New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity poverty measure

Moderator

  • Janice Cooper
    Interim Director
    National Center for Children in Poverty
    Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

Panelists

  • Indivar Dutta-Gupta
    Professional Staff
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support
  • Mark Levitan
    Director of Poverty Research
    New York City Center for Economic Opportunity
  • Jane Waldfogel
    Professor of Social Work and Public Affairs
    Columbia University, School of Social Work
  • Vanessa R. Wight
    Senior Research Associate, Demography
    National Center for Children in Poverty
    Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

You may watch and listen to the entire call at the WebEx website. The call is 87 minutes.

Downloads