Research Report How Do States' Safety Net Policies Affect Poverty?
Laura Wheaton, Linda Giannarelli, Michael Martinez-Schiferl, Sheila R. Zedlewski
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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.

Research Areas Children and youth Families Social safety net
Tags Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Welfare and safety net programs Economic well-being State programs, budgets Families with low incomes
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center
Research Methods ATTIS Microsimulation Model