Understanding Changes in Child Poverty Over the Past Decade

Brief

Understanding Changes in Child Poverty Over the Past Decade

May 11, 2006

Abstract

Child poverty dropped dramatically from 1993 to 2000 and increased from 2000 to 2004; both trends were even more marked for black children. While work, education, and family structure, together with macroeconomic conditions, are all significant determinants of child poverty over the last twenty years, macroeconomic conditions dominate the explanation for the dramatic changes of 1993 to 2000 and 2000 to 2004. Specifically, the state unemployment rate and real minimum wage (especially interacted with educational attainment) explain most of the fall in child poverty during the 1990's and the more recent rise.

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