Cover: Understanding Poverty, from Harvard University PressCover: Understanding Poverty in PAPERBACK

Understanding Poverty

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$41.00 • £29.95 • €37.00

ISBN 9780674008762

Publication: April 2002


576 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

46 line illustrations, 54 tables

Russell Sage Foundation Books at Harvard University Press


Authored by a virtual who’s who of leaders in the field, papers in this collection summarize the state of learning in a wide variety of areas of poverty research… [T]he volume…could bring anyone up to date on the state of mainstream thought regarding poverty research.—R. S. Rycroft, Choice

Understanding Poverty provides a first-rate overview of key topics relating to poverty and policy. The chapters provide a useful synthesis of the research findings over the past decade, and of the evolving policy discussion. The book should be widely appreciated and used by policy analysts, by researchers, and by teachers.—Rebecca Blank, Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Professor of Economics, University of Michigan

Teachers, scholars, policy analysts have all for 25 years depended on the Institute for Research on Poverty, in general, and Sheldon Danziger and Bob Haveman in particular to keep us up to date on the changing face of poverty in the U.S., what we are doing about it, or failing to do. This volume continues and enhances that tradition. An excellent introductory essay by the co-editors not only provides an overview of the volume but traces succinctly the trends in poverty in the U.S. and the evolution of public policies which impinge, in one way or another, upon it. The array of contributing scholars is impressive and they provide facts, analytic perspective, assessments of policy effectiveness and proposals for new policies over a wide range of key topics. The landmark welfare reform act of 1996 receives considerable attention, as do the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Security. But health, education, job training and even Empowerment Zones are also covered intelligently. If you, your students or colleagues need to deepen your understanding of poverty or just to catch up with the state of knowledge or the state of action, this is surely the place to start.—Robinson Hollister, Professor of Economics, Swarthmore College

Understanding Poverty is the best available source for current social science thought on U.S. poverty and social policy. Anyone who wants to gain new insight into the nature of economic inequality in the second half of the twentieth century should read it. Anyone who wants to influence or comment on social policy in the twenty-first century—especially welfare reform—should be required to read it. Understanding Poverty is destined to become the leading text in an increasingly crowded field.—Sanders Korenman, Professor, School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, City University of New York