Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/215251
Authors: 
Burkhauser, Richard V.
Corinth, Kevin
Elwell, James
Larrimore, Jeff
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers No. 12855
Abstract: 
We evaluate progress in President's Johnson's War on Poverty. We do so relative to the scientifically arbitrary but policy relevant 20 percent baseline poverty rate he established for 1963. No existing poverty measure fully captures poverty reductions based on the standard that President Johnson set. To fill this gap, we develop a Full-income Poverty Measure with thresholds set to match the 1963 Official Poverty Rate. We include cash income, taxes, and major in-kind transfers and update poverty thresholds for inflation annually. While the Official Poverty Rate fell from 19.5 percent in 1963 to 12.3 percent in 2017, our Full-income Poverty Rate based on President Johnson's standards fell from 19.5 percent to 2.3 percent over that period. Today, almost all Americans have income above the inflation-adjusted thresholds established in the 1960s.
Subjects: 
poverty in the united states
income measurement
in-kind transfers
tax credits
JEL: 
D31
H24
I32
J3
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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