Professor Beatty is an Associate Professor in the Department of
Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of
California, Davis. His research relates to the empirical
analysis of consumption behavior, in particular as it relates to
health outcomes. Professor Beatty’s research has tended to focus
on food consumption and the demand for nutrition and health, at
both the household and aggregate levels.
Marianne Bitler is a Professor in the Department of Economics at
the University of California, Davis; a Research Associate at the
National Bureau of Economic Research; and a Research Fellow at
IZA. She received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in 1998. Her research focuses on the effects of the US
social safety net on poverty, income, human capital, and health;
economics of the family; economics of education; and health
Erin Hamilton received her degree in Sociology from the
University of Texas, Austin in 2009. Her current research
investigates the social and demographic sources of international
migration from Mexico to the United States.
2244 Social Sciences and Humanities Building
Cassandra Hart is associate professor of education policy. She
evaluates the effects of school, state and national education
programs, policies, and practices on overall student achievement,
and on the equality of student outcomes. Hart’s recent work
has focused on school choice programs, school accountability
policies, early childhood education policies, and effects on
students of exposure to demographically similar teachers.
She is also interested in the effects of virtual schooling on
student outcomes, both in K-12 and post-secondary settings.
Camelia Hostinar is a developmental psychologist who studies how
the social environment shapes child and adolescent health,
with a focus on the activity of the stress-response and immune
systems. She is probing the pathways linking poverty to
later risk for disease and investigating protective
psychosocial processes such as supportive
relationships that could help reduce this risk.
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Dr. Ko looks at how policy, healthcare, and our social structure
are interconnected, and their impacts on disadvantaged
communities. She has conducted research on a variety of topics,
including the healthcare safety net, Medicaid, long-term care,
access to healthcare for minority populations, diversity in
medical education, and the healthcare workforce.
Michal Kurlaender’s work focuses on education policy and
evaluation, particularly practices that address existing
racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequality at various stages of
the educational attainment process.
The official poverty rate is 10.5 percent, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimates. That year, an estimated 34.0 million Americans lived in poverty according to the official measure, 4.2 million fewer people than in 2018. According to supplemental poverty measure, the poverty rate was 11.7 percent.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the response rate for the CPS basic household survey was 73% in March 2020, about 10 percentage points lower than in preceding months and the same period in 2019, which were regularly above 80%.
The U.S. Census Bureau defines “deep poverty” as living in a
household with a total cash income below 50 percent of its
poverty threshold. According to the Census Bureau, in 2016 18.5
million people lived in deep poverty. Those in deep poverty
represented 5.8 percent of the total population and 45.6 percent
of those in poverty.
Un salario mínimo es el salario más bajo que empleadores pueden
legalmente pagar a su empleados. La primer ley del salario mínimo
fue promulgada en 1894 en Nueva Zelandia.
Al aprobar del Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), el
salario mínimo en Estados Unidos fue inicialmente establecida a
$0.25 por hora para trabajadores cubierto. Desde entonces, se
aumentó 22 veces—recientemente, en julio del 2009, a $7.25 por
En 2013, 45.3 millones de personas eran pobres. La mayoría de
estas personas que viven debajo del índice federal de la pobreza
no trabajan. Según los datos del Bureau of Labor Statistics, solo
10.5 millones o 23 por ciento de los pobres eran “trabajadores
Desde que fue instituido en 1938, el salario mínimo federal ha
establecido un piso mínimo para salarios. Aunque no todos los
trabajadores son elegibles, ofrece un mínimo de ingresos para los
trabajadores que son menos pagados.
A minimum wage is the lowest wage that employers may legally pay
to workers. The first minimum wage law was enacted in 1894 in New
With the passage of The
Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), the U.S.
minimum wage was initially set at $0.25 per hour for covered
workers. Since then, it has been raised 22 separate
times–most recently, in July 2009, to $7.25 an hour.
FSLA provided a number of federal protections for the first time
The U.S.D.A.’s Economic Research Service monitors the extent and
severity of food insecurity in U.S. households through a
supplement to the Current Population Survey. Responses to a
series of 18 questions are used to determine whether a household
is food insecure.
The official poverty statistics do not track individuals or
households over time so there are no official data on poverty
Despite the lack of official data, other surveys do provide the
ability to track poverty status over time. Two recent studies
have used differing data sources and methods to provide some
insight into the characteristics of poverty spells.
In 2014, about 1.3 million U.S. workers age 16 and over earned
exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Another 1.7 million had wages below the federal
minimum. Together these workers make up 4 percent of all
hourly paid workers.
The “working poor” are people who spend 27 weeks or more in a
year in the labor force either working or looking for work but
whose incomes fall below the poverty
level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
about 9.5 million of people who spent at least 27 weeks in the
labor force were poor. That year, the working poor comprised 6.3
percent of all individuals in the labor force.
In 2015, poverty rates across the four Census geographic regions
ranged from 11.7 percent in the Midwest, 12.4 percent in the
Northeast, 13.3 percent in the West and 15.3 percent in the
South. Because of the South’s largest share of the total U.S.
population, it has the largest number of people who live in
poverty compared to any other region.