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ERIC Number: EJ858835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0276-8739
European Measures of Poverty and "Social Exclusion": Material Deprivation, Consumption, and Life Satisfaction
Gilbert, Neil
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v28 n4 p738-744 Fall 2009
The conventional view of poverty in the European Union countries is based on a relative measure, which defines all those with incomes below 60 percent of the median as poor. In the U.S., poverty is defined according to an absolute measure--the federal poverty line computed by the Census Bureau--which was $21,200 for a family of four in 2008 (somewhat higher in Alaska and Hawaii). In tallying up national rates of poverty, both the absolute and relative measures are adjusted for family size. Although these income-based measures generate social indicators that are concrete, plausible, and convenient to use, they fail to convey the experiential quality of poverty as a condition of life--living hungry, cold, unable to meet normal social expectations, and in dread of what the future holds. They also overlook the possession of other resources and sources of support that can alleviate the conditions of poverty. This essay describes how lessons from Europe may be implemented to overcome these omissions by assessing levels of material deprivation and including measures of consumption and wealth in addition to income. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States