How Do States' Safety Net Policies Affect Poverty?

Research Report

How Do States' Safety Net Policies Affect Poverty?

Abstract

Safety net policies can dramatically reduce poverty.A full assessment requires use of a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) that adds near-cash benefits and tax credits to cash income, deducts necessary expenses, and uses up-to-date, geographically-sensitive poverty thresholds.This analysis implements the SPM in Georgia, Illinois, and Massachusetts to examine the effects of the key safety net programs on poverty.The results show that safety net policies in these three states have substantially different effects on poverty, but federal programs narrow the differences across the states.

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