Poverty and Discrimination

ISBN-10: 0691119546
ISBN-13: 9780691119540
Edition: 2007
Authors: Kevin Lang
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Description: Many ideas about poverty and discrimination are nothing more than politically driven assertions unsupported by evidence. And even politically neutral studies that do try to assess evidence are often simply unreliable. In Poverty and Discrimination,  More...

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Book details

List price: $99.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 1/22/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 424
Size: 7.25" wide x 10.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.222
Language: English

Many ideas about poverty and discrimination are nothing more than politically driven assertions unsupported by evidence. And even politically neutral studies that do try to assess evidence are often simply unreliable. In Poverty and Discrimination, economist Kevin Lang cuts through the vast literature on poverty and discrimination to determine what we actually know and how we know it. Using rigorous statistical analysis and economic thinking to judge what the best research is and which theories match the evidence, this book clears the ground for students, social scientists, and policymakers who want to understand--and help reduce--poverty and discrimination. It evaluates how well antipoverty and antidiscrimination policies and programs have worked--and whether they have sometimes actually made the problems worse. And it provides new insights about the causes of, and possible solutions to, poverty and discrimination.The book begins by asking, "Who is poor?" and by giving a brief history of poverty and poverty policy in the United States in the twentieth century, including the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Among the topics covered are the changing definition of poverty, the relation between economic growth and poverty, and the effects of labor markets, education, family composition, and concentrated poverty. The book then evaluates the evidence on racial discrimination in areas such as education, employment, and criminal justice, as well as sex discrimination in the labor market, and assesses the effectiveness of antidiscrimination policies.Throughout, the book is grounded in the conviction that we must have much better empirical knowledge of poverty and discrimination if we hope to reduce them.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Content of This Book
Recent Developments in the Study of Poverty and Discrimination
The Object of This Book
Why Do Policy Analysts Disagree? The Limits of Statistical Arguments
Why Do Policy Analysts Disagree? The Role of Values
A Case Study: Retention in Grade
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Appendix: A Quick Guide to Statistics
Poverty
Who Is Poor?
Evidence on the Importance of Relative Income
How the Government Measures Poverty
Valuing Nonmonetary Income
Over What Time Period Should We Measure Poverty?
Other Problems with the Official Measure
The National Academy of Sciences Report
Gathering the Data
Who Is Poor (By the Official Measure)?
Extreme Poverty
Homelessness
Hunger and Food Insecurity
Alternative Measures of Poverty
The Dynamics of Poverty
Why Does Poverty Last So Long for Some People?
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Appendix: A Brief Note on Data
The Evolution of Poverty Policy
Federal Poverty Programs, 1970-2000
Incentives under AFDC
The Earned Income Tax Credit
Cash or In-Kind Transfer: Which Is Better?
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Trends in Poverty
Trends Using the Official Measure
Trends in Poverty under Alternate Measures
Accounting for Trends
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Appendix: Multivariate Analysis
Labor Market Policies
Understanding Wage Inequality
Minimum Wage Laws
Living Wage Laws
Job Training Programs
Can Job Training Programs Reduce Poverty?
Evaluating the JTPA
Evaluating the Job Corps and Other Youth Programs
Training Programs and Tagging
Welfare to Work: Work First
Employer-Based Subsidies
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Appendix: Adjusting for Program Nonparticipation
Family Composition
Births to Single Mothers
Declining Marriage
Changing Social Attitudes
The Role of Welfare
Features of Welfare
Teenage Childbearing
Effects of Growing Up with a Single Parent
Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty
Policies Aimed at Infants and Toddlers
Preschool Programs
Programs for School-Age Children
Medicaid and SCHIP
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Concentrated Poverty
Life in High-Poverty Neighborhoods
Do Neighborhoods Matter?
The Gautreaux Program
Moving to Opportunity
Public Housing
Gangs
Community Development
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Education and Education Reform
Education and Earnings
Testing
Decentralization and School Quality
Using Tests to Increase School and District Accountability
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading
Questions for Discussion
Welfare Reform
The Case for Reform
The Welfare Reform Act of 1996
Assessing the Effects of Welfare Reform
Effect on Welfare Receipt
Welfare Reform and Well-Being
Living Arrangements

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