- Series Information
- Introduction and Overview
- The Alleviation of Poverty: How Far Have We Come?
- Consumption and Income Poverty in the United States
- Poverty Lines across the World
- Theories of Poverty: Traditional Explanations and New Directions
- Poverty and the Labor Market
- Employment in Black Urban Labor Markets: Problems and Solutions
- Low-Skilled Immigrants and the US Labor Market
- Poverty and Low Earnings in the Developing World
- Antipoverty Programs for Poor Children and Families
- Education and the Poor
- Poverty, Health, and Healthcare
- Geographical Price Variation, Housing Assistance, and Poverty
- Distributions in Motion: Economic Growth, Inequality, and Poverty Dynamics
- Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation?
- Poverty Transitions
- Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Poverty
- Obesity, Poverty, and the Ability to Pay for Calories
- Environmental Justice: Do Poor and Minority Populations Face More Hazards?
- Female Trust in Government and Gender Income Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Crime, Incarceration, and Poverty
- Payday Lending: New Research and the Big Question
- An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Antipoverty Programs in the United States
- Are Economists in Over Their Heads?
- Antipoverty Policy: The Role of Individualist and Structural Perspectives
- A New Statistic: The US Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the links between poverty and the U.S. labor market. The first part argues that the labor market continues to exert a strong influence on the poverty rate. There is a strong relation between prevailing wages and the poverty rate. The poverty rate closely tracks median earnings of adult men and is even more closely related to wages at lower percentiles in the wage distribution. The unemployment rate also has a modest effect on the poverty rate. The second part of the article examines some labor market policies to reduce poverty. It focuses on the earned-income tax credit, minimum-wage laws, and job-training programs. It reviews evaluations of the Workforce Investment Act, the Job Training Partnership Act, and Job Corps. Finally, it considers the debate over whether putting welfare recipients into work first or into training first is more effective.
Kevin Lang is a professor of economics at Boston University.
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