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IZA World of Labor discussion on measuring poverty with Bruce D. Meyer

Classification Development

IZA World of Labor discussion on measuring poverty with Bruce D. Meyer, the McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

Discussion questions include:

  • You worry about regional differences in measuring poverty – are these only because of regional cost of living differences or is there something more to it beyond cost of living?
  • Let’s assume that the safety net is less affective in more conservative/ right-wing states. If one were to worry about regional differences because of differences in the safety net, wouldn’t that argue for a more inclusive poverty standard in right-wing states? Shouldn’t the governors there be very happy with that because that would give them more federal money since more people would be measured as being in poverty?
  • In Europe they measure poverty relatively in 60% of the median household income and in US it’s absolute. Which do you think is right – European median or US absolute?
  • Poverty is defined in terms of income. Why can’t we define poverty in terms of the purchase of some market basket of goods not in terms of the income needed to buy that market basket?

Find related IZA World of Labor content on poverty measures on our key topic page: What can policymakers do to reduce poverty?
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