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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines factors that determine transitions into and out of poverty using household data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Two key factors drive poverty transitions: changes in household structure and changes in labor market attachment at the individual or household level. For children, women, and men, a change in the household head is the single biggest factor in initiating or ending poverty spells. On average, poverty spells are longer for blacks, for those who are less educated, and for those who live in female-headed households. Poverty re-entry rates for these groups are also higher. The number of weeks worked annually by the household head is an important determinant of poverty exit, entry, and re-entry probabilities.

Keywords: poor, household structure, labor market, employment, household head

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