Penny Wise, Pound Foolish: Why Fighting Child Poverty in the Great Recession Makes Sense

Journal Article

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish: Why Fighting Child Poverty in the Great Recession Makes Sense

September 21, 2010

Abstract

Child poverty generates serious long-term economic costs not only for those children (when they become adults), but for the U.S. economy as a whole. This paper argues that these long-term costs will rise because of the Great Recession, as child poverty rises substantially and remains elevated for years to come. Children growing in newly poor families, and/or those whose parents suffer permanent job loss, will likely have worse educational and employment outcomes. Those young people who enter the labor market during this period will suffer reduced earnings as well. This will impose fiscal as well as economic costs on the U.S. in the future. Investments to reduce child poverty in both the short and long-terms thus make economic sense for the U.S., despite the nations ongoing fiscal crisis.

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