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Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Imputing Noncash Benefits to the Consumer Expenditure Survey Using

By Thesia I. Garner and Charles Hokayem


In March 2010 an Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) released guidelines on thresholds and resources for a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), recommending that thresholds include in-kind benefits that are accounted for in resources; however, only limited in-kind benefit information is available in the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), the data source upon which the thresholds are based. Garner (2010a,b,c) imputed in-kind rates and benefits for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) using eligibility guidelines (CE Eligibility Method). To better reflect reported rates of participation, data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the basis of the SPM resource measure, are used to model imputations to the CE for participation in NSLP and WIC (CPS Program Participation Method). Thresholds based on the CPS Program Participation Method are produced for 2009 and compared to thresholds based on the CE Eligibility Method. Preliminary results reveal that the two sets of thresholds defined for owners with mortgages, owners without mortgages, and renters are not statistically significantly different from each other. In contrast, when housing tenure thresholds are compared to each other within each method group, statistically significant differences arise

Topics: Key Words, Supplement Poverty Measure (SPM, Poverty Thresholds, CE Interview
Year: 2012
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