The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty

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Philip N. Jefferson
OUP USA, Nov 29, 2012 - Business & Economics - 832 pages
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Poverty is a pressing and persistent problem. While its extent varies across countries, its presence always represents the diminution of human capacity. Therefore, it seems natural to want to do something about it. Have countries made progress in mitigating poverty? How do we determine who is poor and who is not poor? What intuitions or theories guide the design of anti-poverty policy? Is overall labor market performance the key to keeping the poverty rate low? Or, does it matter how well- connected an individual is to those who know about the availability of jobs? Does being an immigrant increase the odds of being poor? Are there anti-poverty policies that work? For whom do they work? If I'm poor, will I have access to health care and housing? Am I more likely to be obese, polluted upon, incarcerated, un-banked, and without assets if I'm poor? Is poverty too hard a problem for economic analysis? These are some of the questions that a distinguished group of scholars have come together to confront in this handbook. The Handbook is written in a highly accessible style that encourages the reader to think critically about poverty. Theories are presented in a rigorous but not overly technical way; concise and straightforward empirical analyses enlighten key policy issues. The volume has six parts: Poverty in the 21st Century; Labor Market Factors; Poverty Policy; Poverty Dynamics; Dimensions of Poverty; and Trends and Issues in Anti-Poverty Policy. A goal of the handbook is to stimulate further research on poverty. To that end, several chapters challenge conventional thinking about poverty and in some cases present specific proposals for the reform of economic and social policy.

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About the author (2012)


Philip N. Jefferson is a professor of economics at Swarthmore College. His research has appeared in several journals and has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation. He has taught at Columbia University and the University of Virginia and has worked as an economist for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Jefferson has held visiting appointments at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He is a past president of the National Economic Association. He has also served as a director of the Eastern Economic Association.

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