Super Session: Reducing Child Poverty: Uniting Diverse Perspectives
(Poverty and Income Policy)

Friday, November 8, 2019: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Ballroom A & B (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Timothy Smeeding, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Moderator:  Timothy Smeeding, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Speakers:  Cynthia Osborne, University of Texas, Austin, Irwin Garfinkel, Columbia University, Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution and Greg J. Duncan, University of California, Irvine

The strengths and abilities children develop from infancy through adolescence are crucial for their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, enabling them to achieve success in school and become economically self-sufficient and healthy adults. However, a wealth of evidence suggests that inadequate access to family economic resources compromises their ability to grow and achieve success in adulthood.  

 In this super session, expert members of a National Academies of Sciences committee will discuss the findings outlined in “A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty” from diverse disciplinary perspectives. The report draws on evaluation research literature, policy and contextual analysis, program implementation, and microsimulation data to examine the demographic and contextual factors of child poverty, and promising anti-poverty programs capable of reducing child poverty when combined into diverse and effective policy packages. 


Timothy Smeeding, an economist and policy analyst will chair the panel, introduce the topic and the disciplinary perspectives for the participants; explain why APPAM members should be interested from policy analysis and program implementation perspectives, and briefly share reactions to and impact of the report.


The first presenter, Greg Duncan, a child development and program evaluation specialist, will briefly overview the report, and then examine the demographic and contextual factors of child poverty. He will explain how poverty is measured and why the relatively new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), provides a somewhat different view of child poverty than the older Official Poverty Measure (OPM).  He will also briefly compare child poverty in the U.S. with other countries and provide examples of successful poverty reduction efforts in these countries.

The second presenter, Cynthia Osborne, an academic policy implementation specialist, will focus on some of the contextual factors of child poverty that can have a profound effect on the success of anti-poverty programs and policies.  This includes income stability and predictability, equitable and ready access to programs, equitable treatment by the criminal justice system, neighborhood conditions, and family health. 

The third speaker, Christine James Brown, an anthropologist and practitioner will delve into the committee work on equitable treatment across racial and ethnic groups and other aspects of child well-being from her unique perspective as a lifelong nonprofit executive.

The fourth presenter, Ron Haskins, a developmental psychologist and congressional expert, will detail the policy and program proposals simulated, discuss the historical economic impact of these programs, and what the committee learned using the Urban Institute’s Transfer Income Model, V3 (TRIM3) microsimulation model. Simulations included modifications to current programs, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and policies used in other countries, such as child support assurance and universal child allowance. He will also summarize the potential effects and associated costs of combining these programs into diverse packages.

The final presenter, Irwin Garfinkel, a social work professor and economist, will discuss additional programs and policies that were judged promising but not amenable to precise estimates of impact on child poverty. He will also summarize the committee’s recommendations for future research and mechanisms that could be implemented to measure future progress.  Open discussion will follow this presentation.

See more of: Poverty and Income Policy
See more of: Super Session