NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Victoria R. Mooers

Harris School of Public Policy
University of Chicago
1307 E 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2019The Use and Misuse of Income Data and Extreme Poverty in the United States
with Bruce D. Meyer, Derek Wu, Carla Medalia: w25907
Recent research suggests that rates of extreme poverty, commonly defined as living on less than $2/person/day, are high and rising in the United States. We re-examine the rate of extreme poverty by linking 2011 data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and Current Population Survey, the sources of recent extreme poverty estimates, to administrative tax and program data. Of the 3.6 million non-homeless households with survey-reported cash income below $2/person/day, we find that more than 90% are not in extreme poverty once we include in-kind transfers, replace survey reports of earnings and transfer receipt with administrative records, and account for the ownership of substantial assets. More than half of all misclassified households have incomes from the administrative data...
 
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