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ERIC Number: ED141432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Nov-18
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Relative Poverty. The Measure of Poverty, Technical Paper XIII.
McNeil, Jack
This paper examines some of the implications, including geographic and residential considerations, of adopting a relative poverty defintion which would fix the poverty threshold at some proportion of median income. The major virtues of such a definition are that it is explicitly relative and it is easy to understand and construct. The major flaw is that, in the absence of a major shift in the income distribution, the proportion of persons in poverty would remain constant over time. The evidence in this paper indicates that such a poverty measure would have the effect of identifying as poor a nearly fixed proportion of the population. In the absence of significant shifts in the income distribution, the proportion of the population in poverty would not be lowered by a growth in the average level of real income. Using a definition based on median income would also allow the possibility of introducing inter-area differentials through the use of sub-national medians. However, even though the application of a single national poverty standard causes some inequities, the data suggests that the adoption of a poverty standard based on sub-national medians would create its own inequities. The only realistic way of introducing inter-area differentials into a poverty definition is to develop a survey which will produce acceptable data on inter-area differences in living costs. (Author/AM)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 443D-South Portal Building, Washington, D.C. 20201
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
Note: For related documents, see UD 016 918-929 and UD 017 087; Best copy available