National Academies Press: OpenBook

Measuring Poverty: A New Approach (1995)

Chapter: Design

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Suggested Citation:"Design." National Research Council. 1995. Measuring Poverty: A New Approach. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4759.
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APPENDIX B 397 pension, federal civilian pension, military pension, state or local government pension, annuity income, income from estates and trusts, other retirement or disability or survivor payments, money from relatives or friends, interest income, dividends, net rental income, income from individual retirement accounts, Pell Grants, other educational financial aid, other cash income; • participation in noncash benefit programs, including energy assistance, food stamps, public housing, and school lunch; and • health insurance coverage. Panel Study of Income Dynamics The PSID is a continuing panel survey of a cohort of families, begun in 1968. The survey is sponsored and conducted by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (SRC). Since 1983 the National Science Foundation has been the principal funder, with substantial continuing support from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (The survey was originally funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity; other agencies that have provided funds include the U.S. Departments of Labor and Agriculture, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Aging, and the Ford, Sloan, and Rockefeller foundations.) The current annual budget is about $2.6 million, which includes direct and overhead costs for the core survey only, not including separately funded supplements. (For information on the PSID, see Hill, 1992; Survey Research Center, 1989.) Design The sample comprises three components: (1) 2,900 families interviewed in 1968 from the SRC national sampling frame, representative of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population; (2) 1,900 low-income families with heads under age 60 who were interviewed in 1968 from the 1966-1967 Survey of Economic Opportunity (SEO); and (3) 2,000 Hispanic families added in 1990. Currently, 9,000 families (including original sample families and the subsequent families of their members) are interviewed once each year. The reporting unit is the family, defined as one of the following: a single person living alone or sharing a household with other nonrelatives; a family of members related by blood, marriage, or adoption; an unmarried couple living together in what appears to be a fairly permanent arrangement. The respondent is the family head, usually the adult male head if there is one. Interviews are conducted annually and, since 1973, mostly by telephone (92%). Original sample members who leave to form separate family units are followed (including children born to original sample members), and information is obtained about the coresidents in their new families. Sample members who are institutionalized

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Measuring Poverty: A New Approach Get This Book
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Each year's poverty figures are anxiously awaited by policymakers, analysts, and the media. Yet questions are increasing about the 30-year-old measure as social and economic conditions change.

In Measuring Poverty a distinguished panel provides policymakers with an up-to-date evaluation of:

  • Concepts and procedures for deriving the poverty threshold, including adjustments for different family circumstances.
  • Definitions of family resources.
  • Procedures for annual updates of poverty measures.

The volume explores specific issues underlying the poverty measure, analyzes the likely effects of any changes on poverty rates, and discusses the impact on eligibility for public benefits. In supporting its recommendations the panel provides insightful recognition of the political and social dimensions of this key economic indicator.

Measuring Poverty will be important to government officials, policy analysts, statisticians, economists, researchers, and others involved in virtually all poverty and social welfare issues.

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