ECRG 3240: Part II: Poverty in the United States              


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Videos Part II:  Spotlight on Poverty Part I, part II and Part III (Haskins

and Sawhill discuss their book “creating an opportunity society”)


Quiz 4 Discussion Questions  Quiz 5: Welfare reform review Questions


Topics Covered in this part II of this course:


7.  U.S. Poverty Trends and History


8.   From Welfare to Work: has the 1995 welfare worked 


9.   Fragile families: TANF/PRWORA Review Questions


10.  Homelessness, Mental Illness and Hunger  


11.  Urban Poverty: the rise and fall of American Cities


12.  Foreign aid, globalization and U.S. poverty


Required readings:

     Haskins, R. and Isabel Sawhill (2009) Creating an opportunity Society, Brookings, Washington DC  0815703228 

     Haskins, R, (2002) Welfare Reform and Beyond (WRAB-all available online).

     David Ellwood, et. al, (1989) Poor Support, Basic Books ( chapters 1 & 2 )

     Jencks, Christopher (1994) The Homeless, Harvard University Press



            Blank, R. & R. Haskins (2001) The New World of Welfare (Brookings)

            Blank, Rebecca: It Takes a Nation 


7.    U.S. Poverty Trends and History:   Links to Part I   PBS Film Discussion Questions


Lecture Notes:   *U.S. Poverty Trends Lecture  6 per page  Census 2007 Poverty Update

  *U.S. 1980s Poverty Puzzle Notes   Haskins WRAB Slides    Charts: First Measured Century 


            Poverty Measurement:   How U.S. Poverty is Measured?  Broken yardstickMiss Poverty USA” 

*What is Poverty? (Ellwood p. 82-84)  *WSJ U.S. Poverty Measurement  *Post-Transfer Child Poverty 


Required: WRAB, Chapter 1*, Chapter 2*,  Chapter *7    *David Ellwood Chapter 1 & 2, Chapter 2 part 2 


Video: PBS “In This Affluent Society” *Part 1 (10 minutes) *Part 2 (12 mins) *Part 3 (20 mins)   

  *Part 4 (10 mins) PBS Film Notes  Henry Hampton—Blackside films  archive


Case Study 7.1: Trends in Child Poverty  Brookings Index of Child Well Being   UNICEF Child Poverty


8. From welfare to work: what did the 1996 Welfare reform accomplish, so far? 


Lecture Notes:  Opportunity Society: presentation   HHS Indicators of Welfare Dependence 2008

 War on Poverty to War on Welfare: “tough love”  (6 slides per page)

Case Study 8.1: Welfare a recession safety net? Sheila Zedlewski The Role of Welfare during a Recession


WRAB slides: *PRWORA-TANF Intro *Results Welfare Reform (slides b51-b72)    

3 Phases of EITC  3 phases of AFDC    EITC 2003 Update  WRAB: EITC Outreach Campaigns


Readings: WRAB (2002) Chapt 12, Chapt *13  *Chapt 20  *Chapt 6 Sanctions  *NYS TANF Summary  

*HHS Welfare Dependency Report to Congress 2006 (Chapter 1:  Overview  pdf  version)

                                  CEA ERP (2001) Chapt 5 pp. *187-198,*199-205    Be Married, Be Outnumbered 

  Ellwood, D *Plight of Working Poor  pdf version (Brookings)  CEA ERP (2000) Chapter 5 p. 165-72 


Case Study 8.2 Welfare Reform how it happened:  *Welfare reform as an election/recession issue

 David Ellwood “Welfare reform as I knew it  Ron Haskins (2006) Work over welfare:  Chapter 1


Case Study 8.3 Did the 1996 Welfare reform work?  PBS: Debate Lingers

CBO Study (2007) The Resources of Low-Income Households with Children, 1991 to 2005  pdf version

Urban Institute (2006) A Decade of Welfare Reform: facts and figures   Making Marriage Work

The changing role of Welfare in the Lives of Low Income Families with Children (2006) Urban Institute

Winship, Scott and Christopher Jencks “How Did the Social Policy Changes of the 1990s Affect

Material Hardship among Single Mothers? Evidence from the CPS Food Security Supplement”,

Kennedy School Working Paper Number:RWP04-027  

Charts showing income of single-mothers pre & post welfare reform

                                From Fang & Keane (2004) Assessing the Impact of Welfare Reform on Single Mothers,

Cowles Foundation, Yale University – selected pages).


Case Study 8.4 Welfare reform is low wage work really the answer”

Jennifer Mosher in Alton, NY (NYT 4-29-01) Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America” 

(tries working at Walmart) Zabin (2004) The Hidden Public cost of low wage jobs in California      


Video/audio: Jason Deparle, 'Nation's Drive to End Welfare' NPR Fresh Air Sept. 20, 2004

     DeParle, a NY Times' reporter discusses his book American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids

     and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare:  how welfare reform affected  the lives of three Milwaukee families.


Case study 8.5  Health Insurance, work and Welfare reform (WRAB #11)



Further Reading: ERP 2000 Chapter 4 pp.129-41   Welfare Caseloads History

IPR, When will we know if Welfare Reform Succeeds?  Wolfe, B (2000) Incentives & Challenges of TANF, IPR, U Wisc.

Blank, R. (1996) The 1996 Welfare Reform    Ellwood, Poor Support Chapt. 3 pp. 45-65 Caseloads

Haskins, Ron (2001) “Effects of Welfare Reform on Family Income and Poverty” from

            Haskins and Blank (2001) The New World of Welfare.


9. Fragile families: work and marriage post welfare-reform: TANF/PRWORA Review Questions


Lecture Notes: *Welfare Impact Slides (family structure)  *WRAB Slides (results to date) 

*Horn U.S. Promotes Marriage WSJ November 2006  *PBS Frontline “Let’s Get Married  

                 *3 Phases of EITC  *3 phases of AFDC  Post Transfer Poverty  EITC 2003 Update


Case Study 9.1: marriage and fragile families:  

 WRAB *8, chapt 16*   chapt 17*   chapt 18*,   WRAB Ch 21   Myths about Fathers 

                         Blank and Novak (2008) Helping disconnected single mothers 

            *Haskins & Sawhill (2003) Work and Marriage  (WRAB 28)   Sawhill (1998) Reducing Teen Pregnancy

                         Haskins, Ron Federal Programs to Promote Marriage  Princeton Fragile Families web page 

                   *Tough love, less romance NYT 6-02    Murray on what helps Fragile Families   PFF Research Briefs

                    EITC Marriage Tax and Bonuses   EITC in 2006 an Update Urban Institute cohabitation


Further Reading: Ellwood Single Parent Families Chapter 5 128-45 146-65  Sawhill, Isabel (1999) Non-Marital Births 

                                                            Ellwood Two-Parent Families Chapter 4 146-65  


10.  Severe Poverty: Homelessness, Mental Illness and Hunger  


      Core Readings:   WRAB 19 Food Stamps  WRAB 22 Housing Discussion Questions   Lecture Notes

*Jencks, The Homeless, Chapters *1-2,  Chapt *7  Chapt *10-11 Partial Solutions   *Public Housing Demolition

                  New York plan for Homeless vouchers  *Off the Streets (Debra Bounsell) NCH Homeless- factsheet


Case Study: 10.1 Coping with Schizophrenia *Jencks Chapter 3  *WSJ 2006 Police get taste of Schizophrenia 

                  *Housing NY Mentally ill  (NYT April 2001)  *Briarwood Queens Shelter (Angela Mooney)

                   Fuller (2001) how to treat the homeless mentally ill


            Video/audio:  ABC Nightline: A Troubled Mind Intro  *Part 2: (schizophrenia)  *Part 3 (supported work-community care)


11.  The Rise and Fall of Poverty in American cities:


*Required Readings:  lecture notes** updated 5-3-2008  William Julius Wilson (1998) “When Work Disappears:

                    Urban Poverty in a Global Economy” (no highlighting—smaller file)    New York and the Bronx

                                    Jargowsky and Sawhill (2006) Decline of the Underclass  (as public housing projects are torn down…)

Jargowsky,*Urban Poverty: Stunning Progress, Hidden Problems *pdf version (big file, nicer format) 

                                    *E. Lang- I Have a Dream WSJ (1999) *Cathy Morgan: Brazen Bronx Guidance Counselor


 Case study 11.1: Concentrated poverty in New Orleans shock & recovery:  map  wards by race

Child poverty in states hit by Katrina  New Orleans ask Allison   poverty & segregation maps

Brookings Tracking New Orleans recovery  Fema diaspora map


 Case study 11.2: New Approaches to Housing Policy Vouchers and home ownership

                WRAB #22 Housing Policy     WRAB Segregation in U.S. Cities

Owning-up: Asset-based plans to help poor families acquire homes    New York plan for Homeless vouchers 

                        James Rosenbaum Housing Mobility & Chicago’s Gautreaux Program 

                        Hope VI Relocation (pp.385-90) Social-ties (social capital) Hope IV relocation (pp. 415-420)


12. Has Globalization increased U.S. poverty?   Lecture notes

               CEA Economic Report of the President 2001 pp. *187-192 *204-207                                  

               Kletzer, Lori & R. Litan Kletzer & Litan Aid to Displaced Workers ” IIE Policy Brief   


  Case Study 12.1 Textiles Trade: the WTO-ATC quotas ended Jan 1, 2005:

                     January 2005 end for Garment quotas affect Bangladesh and the Carolinas

                     *Lecture Notes  *6 per page  Edward Gresser, Tariffs and Single Moms pp.*1-3 (full report pdf

                      Dustin Smith Tariffs on Shoes…  GEP02 pp. *37-42 & 51-52  *Tariff Jumping Sweatshops

         *Kristof “Let them Sweat”  Oxfam’s Watkins vs. WB’s Dollar & Kraay  

                      Honduras EPZ -- Sean John Sweatshop Episode  pdf version   The WTO, the MFA and LDCs

Case Study 12.2 Immigration and U.S. Poverty                        *New patterns of immigration

 *David Card (2007) Immigration & American Cities  WSJ (2007) Jobs Americans won’t do   

 LA Times (2008) Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants Spurs Backlash in LA 

 Card (2005)Is the new immigration really so bad?   David Card (2007) Immigration and U.S. Cities

 Saiz (2005) Immigration and American cities

Acronyms:      CEA: President’s Council of Economic Advisors  ERP: Economic Report of the President            

HUD: Housing and Urban Development Agency HUP: Harvard University Press

                       IPR: Institute for Poverty Research, Northwestern University

                       JEL: Journal of Economic Literature                      NYT:  New York Times

                       NYTM New York Times Magazine                        OUP: Oxford University Press

                       WSJ: Wall Street Journal                                    WBPN: World Bank Poverty Network

                       WRAB: Welfare Reform and Beyond (Haskins and Sawhill)

                       WTO: World Trade Organization

Options for extra credit papers  

                        Pre-packaged Case studies   Poverty Data spreadsheet