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.
Page 400

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APPENDIX B 400 achievement motivation, attitudes, child care, cognitive ability, commuting to work, disability and illness, do-it-yourself activities, extended family and kinship ties, fertility and family planning, financial situation and health of parents, food stamp and SSI eligibility, fringe benefits, hospitalization, housework, housing and neighborhood characteristics, housing utilities, impact of inflation, inheritances, job training, retirement plans and experiences, retrospective histories, saving behavior, smoking and exercise, spells of unemployment and time out of the labor force, time and money help with emergencies, time use, and wealth. In 1990, there were some links to Medicare records. Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP is a continuing panel survey, begun in 1983, that is sponsored and conducted by the Bureau of the Census. The current annual budget is about $30 million to $32 million. (For information on SIPP, see Citro and Kalton, 1993; and Jabine, King, and Petroni, 1990.) Design The current design introduces a new sample panel each February. Each sample of households (panel) is interviewed every 4 months for 32 months (or 2.67 years); because of budget restrictions, some panels have had fewer than eight interview waves.4 There are monthly rotation groups. Until 1992 interviews were in person to the extent possible; beginning in February 1992 the first and sixth interviews have been in person with the rest by telephone. Under this design, three panels are in the field in most months of each year. (For information about response rates and other aspects of data quality, see below.) The sample covers the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population and members of the armed forces living off post or with their families on post. Sample size has varied from 12,500 to 23,500 households per panel; 20,000 households is the current design target. The reporting unit is the household, with unrelated individuals and families also identified. The respondent is each household member aged 15 and older; proxy responses are accepted if necessary. Original sample members aged 15 and older who move to new house- holds are followed and information is obtained about the coresidents in their new households. Sample members who are institutionalized are tracked and interviewed subsequently if they return to a household setting. The proposed redesign of SIPP recommended by the Panel to Evaluate SIPP calls for introducing a new panel every 2 years instead of every year; interviewing each panel at 4-month intervals for 48 months (12 waves) instead 4 The 1993 panel will be extended for a total of 10 years, with annual interviews after the first 3 years of interviews every 4 months.

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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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