Roundtable: Supplemental Poverty Measure: Roundtable Discussion on Future Directions
(Poverty and Income Policy)

Thursday, November 7, 2019: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
I.M Pei Tower: 2nd Floor, Tower Court A (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Liana Fox, U.S. Census Bureau
Moderator:  David Johnson, University of Michigan
Speakers:  Connie Citro1, Thesia Garner2, Jordan Matsudaira3,4,5 and Jane Waldfogel3, (1)National Academy of Sciences(2)U.S. Department of Labor(3)Columbia University(4)Urban Institute(5)Council of Economic Advisors

Following decades of research on poverty measurement, the Census Bureau, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, released the first annual Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) report in 2011. Since this first publication, no major changes have been made to the SPM, but research has been ongoing on potential improvements and validation of prior assumptions. The Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) has set 2021 as a target for making methodological improvements to the measure. Current proposals under consideration include several changes to the methodology for establishing the SPM poverty thresholds including, but not limited to: changing the range of expenditures which serve as the basis for the thresholds, expanding the estimation sample upon which the thresholds are based, imputing noncash transfers into thresholds, and applying alternative geographic adjustments using Regional Price Parities produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and/or an adjustment to reflect amenities. Building off of recommendations from the recent National Academies of Sciences report on reducing child poverty by half in 10 years, this roundtable will also discuss incorporating health spending needs in the SPM threshold. This session will provide an opportunity for an open discussion of these and other possible changes to the measure.

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