Deeply poor doing worse, studies show

Sept. 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM
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CHICAGO, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- While the 1996 reform of welfare helped America's working poor, the deeply poor are doing worse, published research indicates.

In a paper published in the research journal Children and Youth Services Review, Marci Ybarra of the University of Chicago and H. Luke Shaefer of the University of Michigan argue that while millions of former welfare recipients, mostly single mothers, have entered the workforce, public aid to those with multiple barriers to work has fallen dramatically.

Among deeply poor households with children, a rising proportion and as many as 1.46 million households, are surviving on $2 per day or less, a companion study by Shaefer and Kathryn Edin of Harvard University states.

Ybarra says the results of the studies "should prompt policymakers to be more aware of the income diversity of the poor, and the ways in which policy may increase stratification among the poor."

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