Down and Out in North America: Recent Trends in Poverty Rates in the U.S. And Canada

64 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2007 Last revised: 19 Jun 2021

See all articles by Maria Hanratty

Maria Hanratty

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; Princeton University - Department of Economics

Rebecca M. Blank

U.S. Department of Commerce

Date Written: October 1990

Abstract

This paper documents the striking difference in U. S. and Canadian poverty trends from 1970 to 1986. While U.S. poverty has shown no consistent trend since 1970, Canadian poverty decreased by 60%. This paper examines why U. S. and Canadian poverty trends differed during two periods: 1970-1979 and 1979-1986. During the 1970s, we find that the principle reason for declining Canadian poverty rates is higher economic growth. During the 1980s, we find that differences in government transfers are the main cause of relative poverty change in the two countries. Virtually all of the 3.5 difference in U.S. and Canadian poverty changes from 1979 to 1986 can be attributed to differences in the proportion of families moved out of poverty by transfers. This may reflect both the expansion in social assistance levels in Canada, and the retrenchment in assistance levels in the U. S.

Suggested Citation

Hanratty, Maria and Blank, Rebecca M., Down and Out in North America: Recent Trends in Poverty Rates in the U.S. And Canada (October 1990). NBER Working Paper No. w3462, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=986966

Maria Hanratty (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs ( email )

301 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612/625-6500 (Phone)
612/625-3513 (Fax)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Rebecca M. Blank

U.S. Department of Commerce ( email )

1401 Constitution Ave, N.W.
Rm 5838, HCHB
Washington, DC 20230
United States
202-482-3727 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
12
Abstract Views
560
PlumX Metrics