Advertisement

Poverty and Policy in the United States During the 1990’s

  • Rachel Dunifon
Part of the Reihe „Sozialstrukturanalyse“ book series (SSA, volume 15)

Abstract

This chapter examines poverty trends in the United States during the 1990’s and describes how public policies have responded to, and affected, these trends. Although poverty rates have declined during the second half of the 1990’s, they rose during the early part of the decade; in fact, the early 1990’s saw the highest rates of child poverty in 30 years. Poverty rates were especially high for minorities (African-Americans and Hispanics), young children, and single-parent families. The 1990’s also saw a dramatic shift in public policies directed towards low-income single-parent families. Over this period, cash assistance to such families has been replaced by temporary programs with strict time limits and work requirements, while health insurance coverage for such families expanded. Additionally, several economic incentives have been implemented to make employment more financially rewarding for low-income families. These changes, combined with a robust economy, resulted in dramatic decreases in the number of families receiving public assistance, and large increases in the number of employed single mothers during the 1990’s. Although poverty rates among single-parent families have declined during this period, they did not decline as quickly as the number of people leaving the public assistance rolls.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works Cited

  1. Acs, G., Coe, N., Watson, K. & Lerman, R. (1998): Does Work Pay? An Analysis of the Work Incentives Under TANF. Urban Institute Occasional Paper, No. 9.Google Scholar
  2. Blank, R. (2000): Fighting Poverty: Lessons from Recent U. S. History. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14, S. 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blank, R. (1997): It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Blank, R., Card, D. & Robins, P. (1999): Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low-Income Families. Joint Center for Poverty Research Working Paper No. 69. http://www.jcpr.org.Google Scholar
  5. Burtless, G. & Smeeding, T. (2000): The Level, Trend, and Composition of Poverty. Paper presented at the Institute for Research on Poverty’s conference: Understanding Poverty in America: Progress and Problems, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty.Google Scholar
  6. Cancian, M., Haveman, R., Kaplan, T., Meyer, D. & Wolfe, B. (1999): Work, Earnings, and Well-Being After Welfare: What do we Know In: S. Danziger (Ed.), Economic Conditions and Welfare Reform. Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute.Google Scholar
  7. Cancian, M. & Reed, D. (2000): Changes in Family Structure: Implications for Poverty and Related Policy. Paper presented at the conference: Understanding Poverty in America: Progress and Problems. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty.Google Scholar
  8. Council of Economic Advisors (1999): Economic Expansion, Welfare Reform, and the Decline is Welfare Caseloads: An Update. Technical Report. Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President of the United States.Google Scholar
  9. Danziger, S., Sandefur, G. & Weinberg, D. (1994): Confronting Poverty: Prescriptions for Change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Danziger, S. K., Corcoran, M., Danziger, S. & Heflin, C. (2000): Work, Income, and Material Hardship After Welfare Reform. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 34, S. 630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Duncan, G. J. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1997): Consequences of Growing Up Poor. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  12. Edin, K. & Lein, L. (1997): Making Ends Meet. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Fisher, G. (1998): Setting American Standards of Poverty: A Look Back. FOCUS, 19Google Scholar
  13. (2).
    Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty.Google Scholar
  14. FOCUS (1998): Revising the Poverty Measure. FOCUS, 19 ( 2 ). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty.Google Scholar
  15. Fuller, B. & Kagan, S. (2000): Remember the Children: Mothers Balance Work and Child Care Under Welfare Reform. Growing Up in Poverty Project. http://wwwgse.berkeley.edu/research/PACE/remthechild_exsum. pdf.Google Scholar
  16. Hogan, D. & Lichter, D. (1995): Children and Youth: Living Arrangements and Welfare. In: R. Farley (Ed.), State of the Union. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Internal Revenue Service (2000): http://www.irs.gov.Google Scholar
  17. Johnson, N. (1999): A Hand Up: How State Earned Income Tax Credits Help Working Families Escape Poverty. Washington, DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.Google Scholar
  18. Lewis, O. (1966): The Culture of Poverty. Scientific American, 215 (4).Google Scholar
  19. Long, S. & Clark, S. (1997): The New Child Care Block Grant: State Funding Choices and Their Implications. Urban Institute working paper. http://newfederalism.urban.org/html/anf_a 12.htm.Google Scholar
  20. Loprest, P. (1999): How Families that Left Welfare are Doing: A National Picture. The Urban Institute, Series B, no. B-1. http://www.urban.org.Google Scholar
  21. McLoyd, V. (1998): Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Child Development. American Psychologist, 53 (2), S. 185–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mead, L. (1986): Beyond Entitlement. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  23. Meyer, B. & Rosenbaum, D. (1998): Welfare, the Earned Income Credit, and the Employment of Single Mothers. Joint Center for Poverty Research Working Paper No. 32.Google Scholar
  24. Murray, C. (1984): Losing Ground. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  25. Primus, W., Rawlings, L., Larin, K. & Porter, K. (1999): The Initial Impacts of Welfare Reform on the Incomes of Single Mother Families. http://www.cbpp.org/822–99wel.pdf. Google Scholar
  26. Schoeni, R. & Blank, R. (2000): What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure. NBER Working Paper No. 7627. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  27. Scholz, J. & Levine, K. (2000): The Evolution of Income Support Policy. Paper presented at the Institute for Research on Poverty’s conference: Understanding Poverty in America: Progress and Problems. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty.Google Scholar
  28. U. S. Bureau of the Census (2000): Poverty in the United States, 1999. http://www.census.gov.Google Scholar
  29. Wilson, W. (1996): When Work Disappears. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Leske + Budrich, Opladen 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Dunifon

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations