TABLE 3-2 Selected Alternative Equivalence Scales: Increment in the Scale Value for a Spouse and Each Added Child (Relative to a Scale Value of 1.00 for a Single-Adult Family)

Source or Type of Scale

Family Size

 

2

3

4

5

6

Per capita

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

Official U.S. poverty thresholdsa

0.29

0.26

0.40

0.35

0.27

Bureau of Labor Statistics Family Budgets Programb

0.67

0.61

0.50

0.50

0.56

U.S. Department of Agriculture (food only)c,d

0.83

0.80

0.70

0.63

0.80

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developmente

0.70

0.50

0.50

0.50

0.50

Canadian low-income cut-offs (LICOs) (1986 base)f

0.36

0.37

0.26

0.18

N.A.

Lazear-Michael (1980a)g

0.06

0.24

0.18

0.22

N.A.

Lazear-Michael (1988)h

1.00

0.40

0.40

0.40

0.40

Jorgenson-Slesnii

0.76

0.60

0.73

0.34

1.28

Van der Gaag and Smolenskyj

0.45

0.10

0.17

0.10

0.09

Income Survey Development Program (ISDP)k

0.47

0.18

0.16

0.13

0.11

Rainwater (1990)c,l

0.26

0.18

0.15

0.12

0.11

Statistics Canadac,m

0.17

0.27

0.23

0.00

N.A.

NOTE: Add values across, plus 1.00 for the first adult, to obtain the scale value for a particular size family.

a Calculated from the thresholds for a married-couple family of the specified family size compared to the threshold for an unrelated individual under age 65 (Bureau of the Census, 1993c: Table A).

b Derived on the basis of Engel curves and food shares. The scale values shown are for a family in which the head is aged 35–54 (in Sherwood, 1977: Table 7).

c Scale values do not distinguish between adults and children.

d Derived by adding the costs of individual food plans and adjusting for household economies of scale in the use of food (Peterkin et al., 1983:15).

e Derived on the basis that a second adult adds 70 percent to the single adult's budget and each child adds another 50 percent (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1982).

f Derived using a method similar to the iso-prop method (in Wolfson and Evans, 1989:55); see text.

g Derived using a variant of the Barten model.

h Derived using a variant of the Rothbarth model; see text.

i Derived using a variant of the Barten model, which also distinguishes by the age, race, and sex of the household head, geographic region, and farm-nonfarm residence. The scale values shown are for a family headed by a nonfarm white male between the ages of 25 and 34 and living in the Northeast (in Jorgenson and Slesnik, 1987: Table 2).

j A subjective scale applying to households in which the head is under age 65 (in Danziger et al., 1984: Table 2).



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