Income, program participation, poverty, and financial vulnerability: Research and data needs

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12 Scopus citations


This paper assesses the data infrastructure needed for future research and policy evaluation on income, program participation, poverty, and financial vulnerability in the United States. I present a broad-based discussion of research needs on the long-term consequences of income inequality and mobility, transfer-program participation and intergenerational dependence, poverty measurement and poverty persistence, and material deprivation. I summarize what information we currently collect in U.S. household panels, highlighting specific challenges such as earnings nonresponse and transfer-income underreporting. I conclude that a first priority is to improve the quality, scale, and scope of currently fielded surveys, including linked survey-administrative data, before embarking on a new longitudinal panel to address research on inequality, poverty, and material well being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-68
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Economic and Social Measurement
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015


  • Income inequality
  • intergenerational mobility
  • material hardship
  • nonresponse
  • panel data
  • topcode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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