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Poverty and Discrimination - Kevin Lang

Poverty and Discrimination

Hardcover Published: 22nd January 2007
ISBN: 9780691119540
Number Of Pages: 424

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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.

Industry Reviews

Honorable Mention for the 2007 Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Sociology and Social Work, Association of American Publishers "This volume could be usefully employed as a textbook in upper-level undergraduate and more advanced courses in poverty and discrimination, as well as a reference work for specialists... Highly recommended."--Choice "Poverty and Discrimination is social science at its best. The issues are interesting, the analysis is first rate, the organization is excellent, and ... [the] data is exemplary."--Arnold Kling, EconLog "Kevin Lang has written a significant book that assesses recent developments in the study of poverty and discrimination, reviews the formal theories, and provides insight into their validity through statistical analysis; in essence, a book that addresses the basic issues of poverty and discrimination. It is an excellent text for economists, social scientists, and public policy makers."--Kathryn Goering Reid, Journal of Children and Poverty "Readers of the book will become better critics of statistical evidence used in policy debate sand more skeptical of strong claims about a policy's success (or failure). They also will more fully understand the difficulty of conducting highly credible policy research and crafting effective policies."--Rohert D. Plotnick, Industrial and Labor Relations Review "Lang has written an excellent book that can serve as a useful tool for researchers, students, and policymakers. The author clearly is an expert in the field who has thoroughly researched his topic."--Casey P. Homan, Monthly Labor Review

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
The Content of This Bookp. 2
Recent Developments in the Study of Poverty and Discriminationp. 4
The Object of This Bookp. 8
Why Do Policy Analysts Disagree? The Limits of Statistical Argumentsp. 10
Why Do Policy Analysts Disagree? The Role of Valuesp. 12
A Case Study: Retention in Gradep. 13
Concluding Remarksp. 17
Further Readingp. 18
Questions for Discussionp. 18
Appendix: A Quick Guide to Statisticsp. 19
Who Is Poor?
Evidence on the Importance of Relative Incomep. 36
How the Government Measures Povertyp. 37
Valuing Nonmonetary Incomep. 39
Over What Time Period Should We Measure Poverty?p. 40
Other Problems with the Official Measurep. 41
The National Academy of Sciences Reportp. 42
Gathering the Datap. 42
Who Is Poor (By the Official Measure)?p. 43
Extreme Povertyp. 45
Homelessnessp. 45
Hunger and Food Insecurityp. 48
Alternative Measures of Povertyp. 51
The Dynamics of Povertyp. 53
Why Does Poverty Last So Long for Some People?p. 56
Concluding Remarksp. 58
Further Readingp. 58
Questions for Discussionp. 59
Appendix: A Brief Note on Datap. 61
The Evolution of Poverty Policyp. 63
Federal Poverty Programs, 1970-2000p. 63
Incentives under AFDCp. 66
The Earned Income Tax Creditp. 69
Cash or In-Kind Transfer: Which Is Better?p. 78
Concluding Remarksp. 81
Further Readingp. 81
Questions for Discussionp. 82
Trends in Povertyp. 83
Trends Using the Official Measurep. 83
Trends in Poverty under Alternate Measuresp. 86
Accounting for Trendsp. 87
Concluding Remarksp. 102
Further Readingp. 103
Questions for Discussionp. 104
Appendix: Multivariate Analysisp. 104
Labor Market Policiesp. 108
Understanding Wage Inequalityp. 108
Minimum Wage Lawsp. 115
Living Wage Lawsp. 120
Job Training Programsp. 121
Can Job Training Programs Reduce Poverty?p. 123
Evaluating the JTPAp. 125
Evaluating the Job Corps and Other Youth Programsp. 129
Training Programs and Taggingp. 133
Welfare to Work: Work Firstp. 134
Employer-Based Subsidiesp. 136
Concluding Remarksp. 140
Further Readingp. 140
Questions for Discussionp. 140
Appendix: Adjusting for Program Nonparticipationp. 141
Family Compositionp. 143
Births to Single Mothersp. 144
Declining Marriagep. 146
Changing Social Attitudesp. 150
The Role of Welfarep. 156
Features of Welfarep. 158
Teenage Childbearingp. 161
Effects of Growing Up with a Single Parentp. 168
Intergenerational Transmission of Povertyp. 172
Policies Aimed at Infants and Toddlersp. 174
Preschool Programsp. 177
Programs for School-Age Childrenp. 182
Medicaid and SCHIPp. 190
Concluding Remarksp. 192
Further Readingp. 194
Questions for Discussionp. 196
Concentrated Povertyp. 197
Life in High-Poverty Neighborhoodsp. 198
Do Neighborhoods Matter?p. 198
The Gautreaux Programp. 201
Moving to Opportunityp. 202
Public Housingp. 203
Gangsp. 205
Community Developmentp. 206
Concluding Remarksp. 208
Further Readingp. 209
Questions for Discussionp. 210
Education and Education Reformp. 211
Education and Earningsp. 212
Testingp. 213
Decentralization and School Qualityp. 221
Using Tests to Increase School and District Accountabilityp. 236
Concluding Remarksp. 239
Further Readingp. 240
Questions for Discussionp. 241
Welfare Reformp. 243
The Case for Reformp. 243
The Welfare Reform Act of 1996p. 245
Assessing the Effects of Welfare Reformp. 251
Effect on Welfare Receiptp. 252
Welfare Reform and Well-Beingp. 254
Living Arrangementsp. 258
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691119540
ISBN-10: 0691119546
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 424
Published: 22nd January 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.92