Panel Paper: The Supplemental Poverty Measure in the Survey of Income and Program Participation: 2009

Thursday, November 6, 2014 : 2:45 PM
Acoma (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kathleen Short, U.S. Census Bureau
This paper provides poverty estimates of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) for 2009 using the 2008 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The paper includes comparisons of all of the elements of the SPM as measured in the SIPP and the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). Recommendations of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released in 1995 to improve the official measure of poverty included using SIPP as the basis of a revised measure of poverty. Their recommendation 5.1 stated that the SIPP should become the basis of official US income and poverty statistics as it collects most of the elements of information required to fully estimate the recommended poverty measure.  In 2009, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) formed an Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) to develop a series of suggestions on how to develop a supplemental poverty measure using the CPS ASEC and questions were added to CPS ASEC to facilitate the estimation of the SPM. These data have been used to publish three reports on the SPM. Nevertheless, the SIPP provides an alternate lens to view the SPM.  The SIPP captures sub-annual changes in monthly income and program participation whereas the CPS ASEC estimates income annually.  The SIPP instrument asks directly about several resources used in the SPM that the CPS does not -- such as receipt of free school breakfast, and work related expenses.  The paper will examine how information collected in the core of the SIPP and collected every four months differs in comparison to the CPS from information collected annually in topical modules. It will also present examples of using additional information available in the SIPP but not in the CPS ASEC, such as detailed information on retirement accounts, can shed light on published estimates of the SPM. This study will also serve as guidance to the Census Bureau to support the estimation the SPM in redesigned SIPP set for production this year.

Full Paper: