Understanding Supplemental Poverty Measures: Their Development and Application


please stand by good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to today’s webinar presented by the self-sufficiency research Clearinghouse and the Stanford center on poverty and inequality please note a webinar has been recorded at this time I was like during the webinar over to mr. Allen bediako please go ahead sir thank you so much in hello everyone welcome to the understanding supplemental poverty research excuse me supplemental poverty measures and they’re developing an application webinar co-hosted by the office of planning research and evaluation self-sufficiency research Clearinghouse and the Stanford center on poverty and inequality my name is Allen bediako and I’d like to thank you for joining us today before we get started with the presentation there are a few housekeeping items to go over first today’s webinar will be broadcast to your computer speakers please make sure that the volume on your computer speakers are turned up so that you can hear the presentation if you’re having audio difficulties I would rather dial into the webinar to listen please use information located on the top right-hand portion of your screen entitled call in information if you’ve thousands to today’s call will be taking questions at the end of the presentation we encourage you to submit questions as you have them throughout the duration of the webinar to do this find the question-and-answer pod designated with letters QA on the bottom right portion of your screen type your questions into the field at the bottom and the speaker is directed towards and click the send question button or enter in the coming weeks of recording of the presentation the slides a transcript and an answering questions document where we post this to the SSRC and an email notification will be sent out to you that the materials are available today’s webinar will feature dr. Trudi Renwick Chief of the poverty statistics branch at the united states census bureau dr. Mary Beth Mattingly a research consultant with the Stanford center on poverty and inequality and dr. Mark Levitt and director of poverty research for the new york city center on economic opportunity before we give the fourth of them louisa jones principal at ICF who’s worked with f star ski for over six years provide a brief overview of the self-sufficiency research Clearinghouse louisa good afternoon everyone the self-sufficiency research Clearinghouse or SSRC for short is a virtual portal of research and resources on programs and policies designed to improve the self-sufficiency of low-income individuals and families the goals of the SSRC are to create a virtual repository of research on self-sufficiency provide a forum to engage researchers practitioners and policymakers which is critical for generating high quality self-sufficiency research and using research to inform practice and we are delighted to offer this opportunity for you today with this webinar to hear from these speakers and advanced research to practice if you’re wondering how to use the self-sufficiency research 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for research and alternative methods of measuring poverty and relic has written a number of papers exploring technical aspects of the new supplemental poverty measure mimics joined the Census Bureau in 2008 after working for many years in New York as a senior economist for the fiscal policy institute and the public utility law projects she has also worked for a number of nonprofit advocacy groups including families USA and the National Association of farm worker organization at treaty I’m not saying over to you thank you thank you well good afternoon I’m going to thank everybody for joining us this is a pleasure so let me begin you 6.5 million people in poverty neither of those estimates was different from the estimate for the previous year so probably the best thing I can say about the official poverty statistics is that they provide a consistent series that goes back to nineteen fifty-nine that’s when the US government started to measure poverty so that’s a good part of the official statistics there’s also some serious drawbacks to the official measure including the fact that we do not include in-kind benefits like snap or food stamps when measuring poverty we do not look at necessary expenses that families have such as taxes or health care or childcare or commuting expenses we use the traditional Census Bureau definition of a family which is just people related by blood marriage or adoption so we do not count cohabiting partners as part of the family the thresholds we use are based on a methodology that was developed in 1963 and since then has only been updated for changes in the Consumer Price Index so there’s been no reflection of higher living standards over the past 50 years in these thresholds and finally these thresholds are the same everywhere in the country so there’s no recognition that it might be more expensive to live in New York City than it then in rural Mississippi in light of these criticisms the Obama administration put together an interagency Technical Working Group in to that late two thousand nine which put out a document in march on march second of 2010 with their observations and their suggestions for a starting point for a single alternative poverty measure for national poverty students you will mental poverty measure the most recent report just came out in November and it covered estimates for 2012 this new measure is based on recommendations of a 1995 National Academy of Sciences panel and I’ve references to that at the end of this presentation if you’d like to learn more about that and this interagency Technical Working Group made few things clear in their suggestions that they didn’t see this as something that would replace the official measure but merely supplement the official measure that it should not be seen as a tool for resource allocation of her program eligibility but rather is just a tool to provide policy insights and that it should be a work in progress at the both the Census Bureau and the bureau of labor statistics were given responsibility for improving and updating the measure over time as new data sources became available as new methodologies became available and they encouraged us to continue to research and improve upon this measure and have it not be stuck in time like the official poverty measure is now so the main differences between the official poverty measure and this new supplemental poverty measure are summarized on this slide the official poverty measure is we use 48 thresholds that vary by the age of the head the size of the family and the number of children as many people probably know they come from some USDA food budgets from the 1960s and combined with a 1955 survey that said families spent about a third of their income on food these the cost of these food budgets is x 3 and that’s how we got the original set of threshold that since then have just been updated by the CPI for the new the Supplemental poverty measure we use data from the Consumer Expenditure survey on spending on food clothing shelter and utilities and take spending of all consumer units with two children at the 33rd percentile so a third spend less than this a two-thirds spend more than this and we adjust those thresholds for whether you own with a mortgage on free and clear or your renter and we also adjust them for where you live as well as for your family size so they’re really they’re much more complex than the official poverty threshold but but they get updated each you use five years of Consumer Expenditure survey data so they get updated each year as new data comes in from the Consumer Expenditure survey on the reason you but your food stamps your housing assistance or and your earned income tax credit does not get counted for the new measure we use a more comprehensive measure of resources that take starts with a cash income and then adds non-cash benefits and tax credits subtracts out taxes and also subtracts out other necessary expenditures so these are expenditures work-related which include childcare and commuting and also medical out-of-pocket expenditures since medical care is not included in the threshold we subtract it from the resource side in determining your poverty status and finally we’ve tried to modernize the unit of analysis as I said before the official is based on the family the Supplemental poverty measure takes the traditional family but adds into that family cohabit errs and any relatives of cohabit ores and it also brings in the unrelated children under 15 that we just totally ignore in the official poverty measure so those are the major differences here’s the results for 2012 you can see a slightly higher poverty rate now you’ll see that here it says 15.1 percent for the official poverty rate that’s because that’s now including those unrelated kids under 15 mostly foster children that that get excluded from the official measure in order to do an apples-to-apples comparison we’ve included them in both so you see the poverty rate overall goes up quite a bit but the interesting thing comes when you start breaking it down by age you can see that poverty for children goes down which is not surprising because we’re now counting the programs that many of which are focused on children and families with children so food stamps housing assistance the Earned Income Tax Credit non elderly adults poverty goes up a little bit from thirteen point seven to fifteen point five and a big increase in poverty for the elderly from 9.12 14.8 that increase in poverty for the elderly is largely driven by that subtraction of medical out-of-pocket expenses which brings their poverty wait rate up considerably this shows we’ve only produced the Supplemental poverty measure for four years because calculating the Supplemental poverty measure depends on some new questions that we added to the you that’s what you can see over time is that the two while they’re different they’ve moved they’ve moved pretty much in tandem there was no change in them in the SPM rate between 2011 and 2012 no change in the official rate between 2011-2012 the I think when the most interesting things that we can do with the Supplemental poverty measure is look at the impact of particular programs and policies on poverty rates and so the next few slides are just going to go through some of those highlights first one looks at Social Security which is include which is included in both the official and the SPM but we can see that the if it weren’t for Social Security the SPM poverty rate would be eight point six percentage points higher than it is that that one program is the has the biggest impact on reducing poverty of all the programs that we’ve listed here next slide looks at refundable tax credits those reduce poverty by 3 percentage points so if the SPM rate was sixteen percent it would have been nineteen percent to have inaudible tax credits and the next slide looks at shows the impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps 1.6 percentage point decrease in poverty and finally this next slide looks at the on the other side what subtracting medical out-of-pocket expenses does that increases the poverty rate by 3.4 percentage points that that’s subtraction the other thing we’ve looked at with the Supplemental poverty measure is a little bit of what it does to the overall distribution and here’s it’s it’s a little hard to see but it’s kind of interesting to look at the very bottom sometimes that’s called extreme poverty so people below fifty percent of the poverty threshold the official measure is six point seven percent of the population in the Supplemental poverty measure we only have five point two percent so that’s showing us that you the number of people in that extreme poverty category we also see changes at the top you can see that the percent of the population with more than four hundred percent of the poverty threshold Falls from thirty six percent under the official to eighteen percent almost a half under the SPM and that’s largely driven by subtracting taxes from resources looking at after-tax rather than before tax resources as well as subtracting the medical out-of-pocket and other work-related expenses so it’s shrunk both extremes of the distribution and really increase the number of individuals living in the in the middle next we just want to look quickly at the current population survey only covers about a hundred thousand households a year so that sample is not big enough to give us an annual poverty estimates for individuals states particularly for small states so we recommend using a three-year average so in this report we we present state level poverty estimates for 2010 through 2012 and here you can see the dark blue states are states where the official and the SPM poverty rates were not statistically different from each other the very light blue states show places where the SPM was higher than the official so California Nevada New York Illinois stick out and that all the other states the fpm was actually lower than the official that after using the new thresholds as you know several things is some lots of moving pieces going on we’re changing the resources we can’t but we also change the thresholds and we’re also changing the unit of analysis so the combined impact of all those is going to lower lowers the poverty rate in all those middle states so each year the Census Bureau is put out national estimates so we’ve got four years of national estimates we do state estimates using the three year averages we put on a research file online that lets people you but at the same time that’s what this conference call is mainly about cities and states across the country have been doing their own versions of the Supplemental poverty measure including the two speakers we have today on the webinar from California and New York City why why do we why is that happening well we have new york city’s Center for Economic Opportunity to think that they took really took the lead on this and produce their measure before the interagency technical working group got together they took the recommendations from that National Academy of Sciences report and implemented them for New York City the main impetus for this is the is a desire to have estimates for smaller geographies for counties for MSAs for cities that we’re not able to do with the current population survey so they are these new york city’s took the lead and other places have followed using the American Community Survey which is a much bigger survey it’s 3 over 3 million households each year and allows us to look at much more granular geographies the other but besides just being able to look at those smaller geographies what these local efforts have been able to do has been really interesting one is that they’ve been able to incorporate administrative data to really enhance the the estimates they’ll talk a bit a little bit about how they’ve what they’ve done with these things but important thing is that they’ve corrected for some of the underreporting that we find in surveys so that we know that more people get food stamps and the you two programs they’ve also been able to address some state specific policy concerns that we wouldn’t necessarily focus on if we were doing this at the national level one example I like to use is Wisconsin Wisconsin’s invested a lot of money in their badgercare program so when Wisconsin does their poverty measure they implemented in a way so that it really highlights the impact of that that badgercare have had on their low-income population California is Beth will talk about in a minute has done an adjustment in their data to look at the undocumented immigrants and to make sure that we’re not assigning benefits like food stamps to undocumented immigrants who would not be eligible for those programs New York I forgot to put it on this slide but New York has got a lot of different housing situations a lot of subsidized housing and and rent control and so a measure they took great pains to have those policies reflected in their measure that is that particular New York City issue that might not come to light if we were looking at it nationally and finally all of these efforts have really been they’ve been pioneers in to just experiment you iteration of these local and state poverty measures has been an improvement over the one the ones before and so I think that it’s a wonderful example of how this you know letting a thousand blossoms bloom can can really push forward this research so I provided here some links to some of these efforts and so people can get more information about them and you’ll learn more about them the rest of this webinar and then on our website we have a page on poverty poverty experimental measures where you can download the reports you can download our working papers and you can also download these research files so that you could play with the data yourself and with that i think i will pass the con over to two best so she could talk about the california poverty measure thanks Trudy that was great I always learn something new when I hear you talk and today was no different certainly so thank you all for joining us today it’s an exciting webinar I’m glad to be able to share some of the work that we’re doing in California I want to acknowledge this is a joint effort between the Stanford center on poverty and equality and the public policy of its Institute you on five key questions just an overview how much poverty is there in California and what do we learned differently from the different measures the official poverty measure the Supplemental poverty measure that the Census Bureau puts out and then from our new California poverty measure does pretty very much across California counties how do patterns of property vary by demographic characteristics I’m going to talk about race differences immigration differences educational differences how much do social safety net programs reduce poverty rates we talked about that for the nation and I’m going to look at some specific programs within California and then finally talked about how different groups of people benefit differently from the safety net programs so the motivation for this I’m not going to go too much detail here because we just heard from Trudy about some of the limitations of the official poverty measure but the big motivation was to overcome some of those limitations in addition to overcoming some of the limitations that we see with the SPM there’s no under there’s no adjustment in the SPM for underreporting and as we heard a lot of people who receive safety net benefits do not report them on these large social surveys like the CPS the ACS and so we use administrative data to do some adjusting to actual totals also SPM is based on a relatively small survey in the current population survey and we can’t look within smaller counties and and drill down to do within state estimates is it you know and even for single states especially with many smaller states out there we need to combine multiple years of data nonetheless when this not in the state and another piece of the equation are that California is unique in some ways that aren’t necessarily accounted for in the census data and to that I listed here are the large population of undocumented immigrants and we run through an algorithm to identify who the likely immigrants are and to adjust some things we know that undocumented immigrants themselves are not eligible promote social safety net programs for example then California also has something called the SSI cash out where folks receiving SSI income are not eligible to participate in CalFresh the state’s supplemental nutrition assistance program but rather get a small cash payment each month that’s for many people smaller than their CalFresh benefit would be so we need to make some adjustments to account for that policy so we build off the American Community Survey and we do imputation from the current population survey California administrative data and a host of other sources and we do county level housing adjustments so rather than looking at larger groups we look specifically with Eden counties at renters and owners with a mortgage who are more similar and then for owners without mortgages who have much lower housing costs and we adjust our estimates for the underreporting of CalFresh and CalWORKs and pretend like I said for the SSI cash out and finally we just for undocumented immigrants in eligibility for social safety nets so the overall equation that we use is to consider all of the resources available to families using the SPM definition of family so we include cohabit ors we include all children in the household under age even if they’re not related by blood or adoption and we look at the earnings of all the family members the cash and non-cash safety net benefit for things like medical care commuting expenses transportation to work childcare and compare those to the poverty thresholds which is adjusted for family size County cost differences and as I mentioned are higher for renters and owners with a mortgage than for those with that so in addition to County variation it varies within counties based on the type of home you live in your ear tag with tenure in that home so the kind of big story here is California is a land of poverty as i said the CPM and the best team highlighted this for us and our CPM results suggest that there eight million Californians in poverty or more than one in five citizens and this compares to only sixteen percent in the overall population from the official estimates or 5.9 million Californians so an additional 2.1 million Californians in poverty under this new measure but as I show in the next slide this measure actually finds slightly lower rates in California then the SPM signs and we think this is largely driven by the underreporting of social safety net programs so when we better capture and better match those administrative totals we still find rates are dramatically higher than the OPM largely driven by the high housing costs in California but rates that are a bit lower than the SPM estimates as you see here one of the things we know is that most Californians live in high-cost areas and I’ve listed here our a birdie poverty threshold for a family of four and we’ve sort of done a three category breakdown in the highest cost counties that average is thirty one thousand three hundred and so extends up quite you scoffs counties that threshold is higher than the official poverty threshold at just under twenty three thousand for these families so looking at how poverty varies across California traditional wisdom with the official poverty measure sort of suggests that poverty is concentrated in the more agriculture and less urban parts of the state but once you factor in the cost of housing and all the other adjustments that we do with the CPM we actually find heavy concentrations of poverty in the major cities and in the urban areas so those are the darker places on the maps here looking at demographic characteristics there are no real surprises here and here I just compare the official poverty rate with California poverty measure and we in general and there are some exceptions but in general we see the same trends so females have higher poverty than males and a lot of this is probably structural because women are more often the solver have they are the sole responsibility for children then males do we continue to see racial differences although interestingly blacks are one group for whom the poverty rate actually goes down under the California poverty measure and we’re still unpacking this to see if it’s because blacks in California live in lower cost areas or because of their better access to the safety net so we don’t have a final answer but it is an intriguing finding but I’ll also highlight by how much some of the other racial groups go up including Hispanics and Asians and that’s also reflected in there in the very high rates of immigrant Policy of poverty I didn’t show numbers here with immigrant poverty rises by a piggly that’s about 12 percentage points under the CPM because compared to OPM and then we also see that you underseat p.m. than we did under the official measure so turning now to the social safety nets in the interest of time I show the California poverty measure taking away snap tax credits and CalWORKs the the CalWORKs is the state TANF program and these are the three biggest programs in California benefiting families with children and other than CalWORKs they are not included in the OPM because OPM is pre-tax income and then the gray shows the CPM minus the total safety net benefits that we were able to consider including things like social security which are included in the official poverty measure and what we see when we look at those green bars we see the biggest changes for for children both those under six and all children and that’s not surprising because so many of these programs are targeted more at children as families with children but the biggest effect of the safety net is on the elderly as we saw for the nation absent the safety net that we find that the elderly would have a poverty rate that 229 percentage points higher this is largely driven by social security but there are other key programs as well that the elderly are benefiting from and then in terms of demographic groups benefiting the most from the safety net programs again no real surprises here in light of the other things we saw females are benefiting more than males but again they all more often have custody of young children and here we see the black poverty rate under CPM comes way down with the safety net and we’re still unpacking this but but that may explain a lot of why we find lower rates of black poverty under CPM than OPM less of an effect for immigrants than nonimmigrants which is not surprising since many of those immigrants are undocumented ineligible for services and then again those of the less than high school are having a much much bigger effect sort of the reverse pattern than we saw for poverty so a few conclusions here the California poverty measure suggests that more than one in five four twenty two percent of California’s are poor and like we see in the nation children and especially those under age six of the highest poverty and hispanics and immigrants have very high poverty under cpa dramatically higher than under opiate and more than half of those lacking a high school degree or poor really highlighting how important those social capital investments are we did see substantial variation within california so the highest rates in the most populous counties and CPM estimates are somewhat lower than SPM you in California so um we see also the really important that these results really underlie the importance of the social safety net CalFresh and CalWORKs in addition to the refundable tax credits are really critical for children and even though it’s included in the official poverty measure these analyses just show how huge and impact Social Security has on elderly poverty and for those of you familiar with poverty rates it’s it’s no surprise that over the past 40 years or so we’ve seen dramatically lower elderly poverty rates than child poverty rates and I think Social Security and Medicare really explain a lot of that and finally blacks and the less educated and to a much smaller though still significant effect as extent women are the most often listed above poverty by the safety net programs so this project the California poverty measure is a work in progress and we undertook it not just to understand poverty but to be able to understand what policies may relate to poverty and data limitations prevent us from precisely estimating county-level effects of most programs there is an analysis you can do for one of the biggest programs the CalFresh or the SNAP program we use data from the program access index calculated by the California food policy advocates and it roughly approximates the percentage of those eligible for CalFresh who actually participate in the program and so this is a proxy for uptake of CalFresh and we see that those with higher uptake in places where uptake is higher have a much bigger poverty reducing effect than in places where it’s lower this is not surprising but it’s nice to be able to document things like that and so going forward we want to do more of these policy counterfactual scenarios in fact we’re working on several now we’ve been approached by different advocacy organizations and policy organizations and policy makers across the state to do some of these looks so we are working on those did the report has been well received and there’s an appetite in the state for much deeper analyses and so we’re looking at doing things like computing analyses for more demographic groups it’s on our radar screen to look at family composition work closely we that’s one of demographics we haven’t yet broken down also work status you know what what is CPM like for those who don’t currently have anyone working in the household you going backward for a few years so that we can both assess trends but also then we can combine multiple years of data to drill down and see what’s going on in the sub county level within the state and we also as Trudy alluded to we’re learning from each other and you know there’s some things we saw in the recent Virginia report and some things going on in New York that we want to better incorporate in our analyses so we want to do some alternative imputations and see how rigorous our results are in light of those and then you know I think there’s some room I’m often asked if we can do SPM for every state so every state can do this and then we could compare them across all the states and I think that’s really challenging because of some of the state nuances other states don’t have the large on document some other states do but but a lot of states don’t have a large undocumented population the California does the SSI cash out program is unique children’s health insurance programs vary we heard about the new york housing situation but thinking through how other states are doing it and how they fit together and what the utility is of doing something similarly and differently and sort of thinking through those things so i thank you for your attention and for that with that I’m going to turn it over to mark and I look forward to your questions at the end well I’m good afternoon everyone it’s a pleasure to join you let me begin by explaining a little bit about who we are the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity or a CEO for short is an agency within the office of the mayor of the city of New York CEO pilots and evaluates new programs to alleviate poverty in the city but we were given an additional responsibility which was to create a new hopefully more informative measure of poverty for the city we now our first report was issued in August 2008 and that’s been followed by four subsequent annual reports so we now have seven years of data a kind of baby time series but we’ve been working hard to make our reports in our poverty measure on a part of the institutional life of city government and toward that end I’m really tickled that next week on the New York City Council is going to consider legislation to mandate mayor’s to come to continue to issue annual reports based on our methodology and this has really been a gratifying a result of all the work we’ve been doing over these years like other California group we’ve been using the American Community Survey you sure the unique character of the new york city housing market and to take advantage of some unique to New York to New York City data sources to do that so as most of you know New York City is a city of renter’s two-thirds of our households are renter households New York is famous for having very high rates and they are high if you’re paying the market rate I think something it’s unappreciated is that many renters in the city particularly low-income renters are protected by means-tested housing subsidies and the city’s very extensive system of rent regulation so our threshold is based on the u.s. wide espeon threshold before the adjustment for housing tenure status the one adjustment of course we’re making to the US wide threshold is to adjust it upward for the inter area differences in housing costs on the income side like the other measures we’re counting what’s available to families to meet the needs represented in the threshold so it’s the cash resources along with the tax benefits and the in kind of benefits like food stamps and housing assistance but all the differences in housing status in housing program status tenure those are accounted for on the income side of our measure and I’ll talk a little bit about that in the slides to come so here for 2011 is the US wide SPM threshold for before any adjustment for housing status just under twenty five thousand dollars for the two adult to child family and the housing portion that’s almost a half is a little bit over 12,000 we’re applying an adjustment factor for New York City of almost 1.5 which brings the housing portion with fresh hold up to over 18,000 when it gets added back to the unadjusted non-housing portion of the threshold we end up with a reference family threshold of just under thirty one thousand dollars for the city so this is about twenty four percent higher than the u.s. wide SPM threshold so what are we doing on the resource sign to to adjust for differences in housing tenure and program status so we are up trying to understand the advantage of living in nan market you households in New York City renters who paid no cash rent and that’s a small group about two percent of households in the city renters who are getting meet some kind of means-tested subsidy either living in public housing or section 8 or something similar about fourteen percent of households in the city and then renters in some kind of rent control rent regulated unit and that’s thirty percent of all the households in the city so the way we measure or try to monetize that advantage is by assigning income to those groups which is a the difference between what they would be paying if they were paying market rate for their unit minus their actual out-of-pocket housing costs so and then we’re capping that market rent at the housing portion of the threshold and the reason we’re doing that is to ensure that any one that we classify as not being poor has sufficient income net of what they’re paying for housing to meet their non housing needs so how are we how are we doing this um if you’re familiar with the American Community Survey you know that a lot of this data doesn’t appear in the survey fortunately for us we have a unique to New York survey called the New York City Housing and vacancy survey is conducted every three years by the Census Bureau for the city of New York it’s a big survey eighteen thousand households treasurer of detailed information about each housing unit and that allows us to create a household to household match between the two surveys you in the housing and vacancies we get a really high quality match that allows us to identify which households in the American Community Survey are likely to be in under some kind of rent control or in public housing or is getting some kind of tenant based subsidy so when we apply on the thresholds and our apparatus here to the data you know this is what we see for 2011 and here we’re comparing the official thresholds and income and poverty rates and they’re in the yellow bars to the blue bars which are the CEO measures so in 2011 44 person family we have official poverty threshold of almost 23,000 dollars a year ours is about 31,000 so our poverty threshold is thirty-six percent higher than the official threshold the second two bars compare our measures of income so the official income bar you see there is pre-tax cash measured at the 20th percentile of its distribution and that’s about twenty three thousand dollars the blue bar next to it you higher at the low end of of the distribution so here at the 20th percentile our income measure is about thirty two percent higher then pre-tax cash but because we’re raising the threshold a bit more than we’re expanding the definition of income we get a kind of inevitable result which is citywide the CEO poverty rate is a bit higher than the official poverty rate in 2011 our poverty rate was twenty one point three percent the official poverty rate was nineteen point three percent so that two percentage point difference is sort of par for the course across the years for which we have data Trudy showed you kind of break out of how specific programs affect the poverty rate and what we’re doing here is a very similar exercise and the first bar that’s in orange show the effect of cash transfers on the citywide poverty rate and as Trudy indicated this fundamentally is really all about social security public assistance and SSI are relatively small programs in New York City and don’t have a really big effect on the poverty rate this is really all about social security but interestingly in light of our interest in housing the next bar the first blue bar going down is the effect of the housing adjustment now on the poverty rate and what we’re seeing here is that the housing adjustment is in effect lifting 6.2 percent of the city’s population out of poverty and that’s very important finding for us because it’s telling us on the one hand that we have more poverty because we’ve lifted the threshold so much because the city is an expensive place to live but on the other hand the housing programs for those who are lucky enough to be able to participate in them are having a big effect that’s followed by the the effects of food stands and and income taxes and then of course on the other side the things that put more people into poverty childcare has a small impact citywide commuting costs payroll taxes are more important units followed by out-of-pocket medical expenses one thing that Trudy mentioned and it’s become important in the policy discussion here in New York City is how the two measures differ in in how they measure extreme poverty and near poverty so as you can see here are our measure ISM blue and the official measure is an orange looking at the share of the population below fifty percent of its respective threshold we’d see a smaller share of the new york city population is in deep poverty you of line relative to the New York to the official poverty line and it’s almost forty six percent and if you’ve been following the election campaign here in New York that forty-six percent number was used every day on the campaign stump by our mayor-elect Bill de Blasio what’s driving this is really the differences in our in our income measure and so what you can see here is within each band we’ve calculated official or pre-tax cash income and CEO income and so at the very bottom of the distribution we see almost twice as much income as you would see if you’re only counting pre-tax cash as you move up that difference narrows and then gets reversed at that last band between 125 and a hundred and fifty percent of of our threshold and what that’s telling us is that our measure is picking up the program’s phase-outs and cliff effects as income Rises and I think that’s really an important policy finding going forward I can see that almost at a time so I’ll just leave you here with our little baby time series and you can see that well you know the city’s economy was expanding from 2005 the first year we have data for 2 2008 there is a drop in our poverty rate the ovals represent year-to-year changes that are statistically significant since that time the poverty rate has climbed although the change from 2010-2011 sort of a hopeful sign was not large enough to be statistically significant so always more to say but maybe we can pick it up in the Q&A thanks a lot thank you everyone for your presentation today at this time we’d like to transition to the Q&A portion of our webinar I’ll hand it over to rent or L to facilitate the session just as a reminder feel free to continue to submit questions in the Q&A pod again that is located on the bottom right-hand portion of your screen screen designate it with QA and at this point we’ll begin the Q&A session thanks Alan so while we’re waiting for people to you um I wanted to ask some questions really I think we can open this up to the to the group because I’m really interested in what all them might have to say about this which is if you lived in a world in which your policy measures were determinative rather than the census number in terms of trying to measure poverty what what impact do you think that that would have on the number of subsidies types of subsidies program design eligibility requirements I’m curious as to what the what you think what if you were if you were advising on particular initiatives and policy measures what would you what kinds of conclusions would you draw out of the your data versus the data that the official poverty measure data and any any or all of you can have an opportunity to speak to that well I’ll start the ball rolling you know I mean this is New Yorkers are you know totally obsessed with real estate and you know our measure is is really a very housing centric measure at the end of the day I think it’s appropriate and so for us you know this you know housing and affordable housing is really ought to be you for years and I think you know our work hopefully is helped to push that and to give you know some some numbers behind hey you know how difficult it is to get by in the city if you’re faced with a market rate rent but also how effective programs between the means-tested programs can be if you’re lucky enough to get into them I mean I think I think the key thing that that we’d be able to do with this new supplemental poverty measure is to look at these marginal impacts that you know with the official measure was vulnerable to the critique that well we’ve been spending billions of dollars on anti-poverty programs and we have nothing to show for it the Supplemental poverty measure is a mechanism now to to go beyond that and look at particular programs and see what the impact has been of each program and that I think is important information for policymakers to be able to see those yeah I think I think there’s two things I’d say I think one thing is the amount of attention that these are getting from policymakers and advocates really speaks to how people are curious to know and eager to use the information to look at differences and to better understand what’s happening I also though do see some even though a lot of these measures have a lot of improvements on the supplement on the official poverty measure they’re still somewhat limited and I think we have to acknowledge that there is some unmeasured quality of life difference between living in San Francisco at you know below thirty five thousand dollars a year which is in poverty under CPM and living in rural Mississippi under twenty two thousand dollars a year that there are still some differences and that you know we need to triangulate between different resources and different understandings of what poverty and need are really like thanks very much for for those responses and Trudy I wanted to ask you questions just a clarification everybody on the phone may be aware of the reasons I and I think I know what the answer this question is we just want to verify it the the federal definitions around us as you noted haven’t been changed ever can you tell us why that has never happened in to what extent there are conversations about changing the way the federal measurers go together well I think the interagency Technical Working Group struggled with this the na s report had recommended eliminating the official measure and replacing it with the Supplemental poverty measure the 2009 interagency technically you um we lose historical time series if we drop the official measure that’s the only way we can measure what’s happened all the way back to nineteen fifty-nine but the second thing is is this I think some important information to be gained by looking at who would be poor if we only count cash income and it’s important I think it’s interesting to look at both those measures together in developing policy I always use the example of you know people say well they should use the SPM to distribute anti-poverty money well we probably don’t want to do that because if a state were to do the right thing you know quintuple its earned income tax credit eliminate all the poverty in the state through the state resources we wouldn’t want that state to be penalized and therefore not get any federal funds because it’s new poverty rate would be so low that would really be a perverse incentives for states time to try to attack poverty in their in their state so there’s a I think is a usefulness in having the two numbers most other countries have more than one poverty measure so there’s not a need to have a single a single metric out there so it’s not it’s not it’s not statutorily mandated that you measure of this way this is was the policy choice by well we don’t have a statute for the official measure e you what ability formulas but it’s we’re not we there’s not a statute telling us to do even the official measure great thank you very much Trudy we have a question from the participants or one of the participants and it is how we’re medical out-of-pocket loop expenses incorporated into the California and New York City SPM measures that’s part one of the question in part two is were these expenses imputed on to the ACS data or something else done I can answer that for California we imputed from the from similarly situated people in the current population survey we did a regression model and then use those coefficients from a variety of characteristics to impute the dollar values two different families based on their characteristics in the ACS and the technical details of that are in the technical appendix and at the end of my slides there’s a link to those if anyone is interested and we’re doing something similar in New York City but with a different data set since we go back before the CPS asked questions about other pocket medical expenses we’re using a Medical Expenditure panel survey which is a very in-depth survey of medical expenditures put out by the agency for health care quality and research okay thank you we have another question from the participants and are there any members of the House or Senate who have been particularly interested in phasing out of the current poverty guidelines in favor of an alternative measures such as the SPM or another measure is anybody who’s taking this on as an issue the panel might be aware of you those far as we know this issue it’s not not been taken on as a special project by members you may be from New your other living current members of Congress from New York for california or another state no bunch from New York okay not to my knowledge and like Trudy said I think there’s good reasons to have multiple measures right no i think the historical the value of this circle data is very very significant map kind of tells you the political issue right look at all the states that have a lower poverty rate under the SPM than the official just that a few very populous states have higher mmhmm yeah and states heavily impacted by immigration just looking at that map that’s oh that is very very significant okay so we have any other no more questions from from the phone mark I have one question for you about the housing issue in New York and it’s of course New York is famous or notorious today on how you look at it for a housing costs what’s the relative ezer did any work down a vaulted impact of or our value of subsidies versus the end you or there’s an imbalance of that’s helping to drive housing cause I’m not that question makes sense but it’s poison I didn’t I didn’t catch the last part of it you were breaking up yeah it’s just I’m sorry I was really question about trying to tease out the relative impacts of rent control versus subsidies on housing affordability in New York has any as any work went down on that well um you know if you look in into the gory details of our report we do provide some insight into that and to me just to summarize it the means-tested programs public housing section 8 primarily have a very big impact for a relatively small group of people you know it’s often you know public housing often has a really bad rap and our public housing has plenty of problems but in New York City there is a line of a hundreds of thousands of people trying to get into public housing it’s very dishonorable housing for low-income people relative to what they can get on the market rent control has a very sort of a shallow impact but across a much larger group of people so most people who are in rent regulated apartments are actually spending more than the housing portion of threshold for their for their rent so they’re not getting any any addition to their income in the way we’re calculating you z the effect is rather large although it’s you know Finn thanks very much Alan you want to close us out sure so this concludes the end of our webinar as a reminder there will be a recording posted to the SSRC web page that will have the presentation in the slides transcripts and a Q&A document of today’s webinar at the close of today’s meeting will also give you a link to a webinar evaluation if you wouldn’t mind taking a few moments to fill that out to help us improve future webinars

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