1932

Abstract

The United States has developed an effective safety net of programs starting during the Great Depression, picking up steam in the War on Poverty of the 1960s, and continuing to this day. These efforts have been impactful. Child poverty rates tracked by the supplemental poverty measure have dropped by nearly 50% since the 1960s. Causal studies show that many of these programs improve child outcomes by alleviating income poverty. Some of the evidence shows that such impacts last into adulthood. Nevertheless, addressing child poverty is unfinished business for the United States. Children are still the poorest age group in our society. More robust versions of present safety net programs, as well as the possible introduction of child benefits/child allowances, which many other high-resource countries already provide to families, will need to be considered if we are going to make further progress in substantially reducing child poverty.

Keyword(s): childdevelopmentlifespanpolicypoverty
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-devpsych-121318-084855
2019-12-24
2024-04-20
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/devpsych/1/1/annurev-devpsych-121318-084855.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-devpsych-121318-084855&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Aizer A. 2007. Public health insurance, program take-up, and child health. Rev. Econ. Stat. 89:400–15
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Almond D, Hoynes HW, Schanzenbach DW 2011. Inside the war on poverty: the impact of food stamps on birth outcomes. Rev. Econ. Stat. 93:387–403
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Am. Acad. Pediatr 2009. Policy statement—Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for children and youth with disabilities. Pediatrics 124:1702
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Annie E. Casey Found 2018. 2018 KIDS COUNT data book: state trends in child well-being Rep Annie E. Casey Found Baltimore, MD: https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-2018kidscountdatabook-2018.pdf
  5. Artiga S, Ubri P. 2017. Key issues in children's health coverage Brief, Henry J. Kaiser Fam. Found San Francisco: https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/key-issues-in-childrens-health-coverage/
  6. Boudreaux MH, Golberstein E, McAlpine DD 2016. The long-term impacts of Medicaid exposure in early childhood: evidence from the program's origin. J. Health Econ. 45:161–75
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Brown DW, Kowalski AE, Lurie IZ 2015. Medicaid as an investment in children: What is the long-term impact on tax receipts? NBER Work. Pap 20835
  8. Brown DW, Kowalski AE, Lurie IZ 2018. Long-term impacts of childhood Medicaid expansions on outcomes in adulthood Work. Pap. Yale Univ New Haven, CT:
  9. Bur. Labor Stat 2019. Historical consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city average, all items, by month. Suppl. File, July, Bur Labor Stat., US Dept. Labor Washington, DC: https://www.bls.gov/cpi/tables/supplemental-files/historical-cpi-u-201907.pdf
  10. Cable DA, Tippett RM. 2012. Poverty and the social safety net. Part II: the role of the social safety net in Virginia. Rep. Weldon Cooper Cent. Public Serv., Univ Va., Charlottesville: https://demographics.coopercenter.org/sites/demographics/files/Poverty_SocialSafetyNet_PartII_2012-02-28_0.pdf
  11. Carlson S, Rosenbaum D, Keith-Jennings B, Nchako C 2016. SNAP works for America's children Rep Cent. Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/snap-works-for-americas-children
  12. CBPP (Cent. Budg. Policy Prior.) 2017a. Policy basics: Section 8 project-based rental assistance Rep. Cent. Budg. Policy Prior. Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/housing/policy-basics-section-8-project-based-rental-assistance
  13. CBPP (Cent. Budg. Policy Prior.) 2017b. Policy basics: the Housing Choice Voucher Program Rep. Cent. Budg. Policy Prior. Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/housing/policy-basics-the-housing-choice-voucher-program
  14. CBPP (Cent. Budg. Policy Prior.) 2017c. SNAP helps millions of children Rep Cent. Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/3-2-17fa2.pdf
  15. CBPP (Cent. Budg. Policy Prior.) 2018. Policy basics: an introduction to TANF Rep Cent. Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/family-income-support/policy-basics-an-introduction-to-tanf
  16. CBPP (Cent. Budg. Policy Prior.) 2019a. Policy basics: the Child Tax Credit Rep Cent. Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/policy-basics-the-child-tax-credit
  17. CBPP (Cent. Budg. Policy Prior.) 2019b. Policy basics: the Earned Income Tax Credit Rep Cent. Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/policy-basics-the-earned-income-tax-credit
  18. Cent. Child. Fam 2018. Health coverage for lawfully residing children Fact Sheet, Georgetown Univ. Health Policy Inst Washington, DC: https://ccf.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ichia_fact_sheet.pdf
  19. Cheng TL, Johnson SB, Goodman E 2016. Breaking the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage: the three generation approach. Pediatrics 137:6e20152467
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Chetty R, Friedman JN, Rockoff J 2011. New evidence on the long-term impacts of tax credits Work. Pap. Harvard Univ Cambridge, MA:
  21. Chetty R, Hendren N, Katz LF 2016. The effects of exposure to better neighborhoods on children: new evidence from the moving to opportunity experiment. Am. Econ. Rev. 106:855–902
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Child Trends 2015. Head Start Indic., Child Trends Bethesda, MD: accessed July 29, 2019. https://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=head-start
  23. Child Trends 2019a. Adverse childhood experiences Indic., Child Trends Bethesda, MD: accessed July 29, 2019. https://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=adverse-experiences
  24. Child Trends 2019b. Children in poverty Indic., Child Trends Bethesda, MD: accessed July 21, 2019. https://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=children-in-poverty
  25. Child Trends 2019c. Health care coverage for children Indic., Child Trends Bethesda, MD: accessed July 31, 2019. https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/health-care-coverage
  26. Cohodes SR, Grossman DS, Kleiner SA, Lovenheim MF 2016. The effect of child health insurance access on schooling: evidence from public insurance expansions. J. Hum. Resour. 51:727–59
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Coleman-Jensen A, Mcfall W, Nord M 2013. Food insecurity in households with children: prevalence, severity, and household characteristics, 2010–11 Econ. Inf. Bull No. EIB-113 US Dep. Agric., Econ. Res. Serv Washington, DC:
  28. Crandall-Hollick ML. 2018a. The child tax credit: legislative history Rep Congr. Res. Cent Washington, DC:
  29. Crandall-Hollick ML. 2018b. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): a brief legislative history Rep Congr. Res. Cent Washington, DC:
  30. Currie J, Decker S, Lin W 2008. Has public health insurance for older children reduced disparities in access to care and health outcomes?. J. Health Econ. 27:1567–81
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Currie J, Gruber J. 1996a. Health insurance eligibility, utilization of medical care, and child health. Q. J. Econ. 111:431–66
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Currie J, Gruber J. 1996b. Saving babies: the efficacy and cost of recent changes in the Medicaid eligibility of pregnant women. J. Political Econ. 104:1263–96
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Dahl GB, Lochner L. 2012. The impact of family income on child achievement: evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit. Am. Econ. Rev. 102:1927–56
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Deming D. 2009. Early childhood intervention and life-cycle skill development: evidence from Head Start. Am. Econ. J. Appl. Econ. 1:111–34
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Duncan GJ, Morris PA, Rodrigues C 2011. Does money really matter? Estimating impacts of family income on young children's achievement with data from random-assignment experiments. Dev. Psychol. 47:1263–79
    [Google Scholar]
  36. East CN. 2018. The effect of food stamps on children's health: evidence from immigrants’ changing eligibility. J. Hum. Resour. https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.55.3.0916-8197R2
    [Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  37. Eckenrode J, Campa M, Luckey D, Henderson C, Cole R et al. 2010. Long-term effects of prenatal and infancy nurse home visitation on the life course of youths: 19-year follow-up of a randomized trial. Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 164:9–15
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Evans WN, Garthwaite CL. 2014. Giving mom a break: the impact of higher EITC payments on maternal health. Am. Econ. J. Econ. Policy 6:258–90
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Fischer W. 2015. Research shows housing vouchers reduce hardship and provide platform for long-term gains among children Rep., Cent. Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/housing/research-shows-housing-vouchers-reduce-hardship-and-provide-platform-for-long-term
  40. Fontenot K, Semega J, Kollar M 2018. Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017 Washington, DC: US Gov. Print. Off.
  41. Fox L. 2018. The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2017 Washington, DC: US Gov. Print. Off.
  42. Gennetian LA, Duncan G, Knox V, Vargas W, Clark-Kauffman E, London AS 2004. How welfare policies affect adolescents’ school outcomes: a synthesis of evidence from experimental studies. J. Res. Adolesc. 14:399–423
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Gennetian LA, Sanbonmatsu L, Katz LF, Kling JR, Sciandra M et al. 2012. The long-term effects of Moving to Opportunity on youth outcomes. Cityscape 14:137–67
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Gershoff ET, Aber JL, Raver CC, Lennon MC 2007. Income is not enough: incorporating material hardship into models of income associations with parenting and child development. Child Dev 78:70–95
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Goodman-Bacon A. 2016. The long-run effects of childhood insurance coverage: Medicaid implementation, adult health, and labor market outcomes NBER Work. Pap 22899
  46. Goodman-Bacon A. 2018. Public insurance and mortality: evidence from Medicaid implementation. J. Political Econ. 126:216–62
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Guldi M, Hawkins A, Hemmeter J, Schmidt L 2018. Supplemental Security Income and child outcomes: evidence from birth weight eligibility cutoffs NBER Work. Pap 24913
  48. Hahn H, Rohacek M, Isaacs J 2018. Improving child care subsidy programs: findings from the Work Support Strategies evaluation Res. Rep Urban Inst Washington, DC:
  49. Hoynes H, Miller D, Simon D 2015. Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and infant health. Am. Econ. J. Econ. Policy 7:172–211
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Hoynes H, Schanzenbach DW. 2015. US food and nutrition programs. In Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Vol. 1 RA Moffitt 219–301 Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Hoynes H, Schanzenbach DW, Almond D 2016. Long-run impacts of childhood access to the safety net. Am. Econ. Rev. 106:903–34
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Hsueh J, Gennetian LA. 2011. Welfare policies and adolescents: exploring the roles of sibling care, maternal work schedules, and economic resources. Am. J. Community Psychol. 48:322–40
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Jacob BA, Kapustin M, Ludwig J 2015. The impact of housing assistance on child outcomes: evidence from a randomized housing lottery. Q. J. Econ. 130:465–506
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Kimberlin S, Tach L, Wimer C 2018. A renter's tax credit to curtail the affordable housing crisis. Russell Sage Found. J. Soc. Sci. 4:131–60
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Korenman S, Remler DK, Hyson RT 2017. Accounting for the impact of Medicaid on child poverty Backgr. Pap Natl. Acad. Sci. Eng. Med Washington, DC: https://www.nap.edu/resource/25246/Korenman%20Remler%20and%20Hyson.pdf
  56. Levine PB, Schanzenbach D. 2009. The impact of children's public health insurance expansions on educational outcomes NBER Work. Pap 14671
  57. Mabli J, Worthington J. 2014. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation and child food security. Pediatrics 133:610–19
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Manoli DS, Turner N. 2014. Cash-on-hand & college enrollment: evidence from population tax data and policy nonlinearities NBER Work. Pap 19836
  59. Markus AR, Andres E, West KD, Garro N, Pellegrini C 2013. Medicaid covered births, 2008 through 2010, in the context of the implementation of health reform. Women's Health Issues 23:e273–80
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Maxfield M. 2013. The effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on child achievement and long-term educational attainment Job Mark. Pap Mich. State Univ East Lansing: https://msu.edu/∼maxfiel7/20131114%20Maxfield%20EITC%20Child%20Education.pdf
  61. Mccarty M, Perl L, Jones K 2014. Overview of federal housing assistance programs and policy Rep Congr. Res. Cent Washington, DC:
  62. Michalopoulos C, Faucetta K, Warren A, Mitchell R 2017. Evidence on the long-term effects of home visiting programs: laying the groundwork for long-term follow-up in the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) OPRE Rep. 2017–73, Off. Plan. Res Eval., Adm. Child. Fam., US Dep. Health Hum. Serv Washington, DC:
  63. Miller S, Wherry LR. 2019. The long-term effects of early life Medicaid coverage. J. Hum. Resour. 54:785–824
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Morris PA, Huston AC, Duncan GJ, Crosby DA, Bos JM 2001. How Welfare and Work Policies Affect Children: A Synthesis of Research New York: MDRC http://dev.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/full_392.pdf
  65. Natl. Acad. Sci. Eng. Med 2019. A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty Washington, DC: Natl. Acad Press. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25246/a-roadmap-to-reducing-child-poverty
  66. Off. Hum. Serv. Policy 1998. Aid to Families with Dependent Children: the baseline Rep US Dep. Health Hum. Serv Washington, DC: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/aid-families-dependent-children-baseline
  67. Olds D, Henderson CR Jr., Cole R, Eckenrode J, Kitzman H et al. 1998. Long-term effects of nurse home visitation on children's criminal and antisocial behavior: 15-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 280:141238–44
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Puma M, Bell S, Cook R, Heid C, Broene P et al. 2012. Third grade follow-up to the Head Start Impact Study: final report OPRE Rep. 2012–45, Off. Plan. Res Eval., Adm. Child. Fam., US Dep. Health Hum. Serv Washington, DC:
  69. Puma M, Bell S, Cook R, Heid C, Shapiro G et al. 2010. Head Start Impact Study: final report Rep., Adm. Child. Fam US Dep. Health Hum. Serv Washington, DC:
  70. Renwick T, Mitchell J. 2015. SEHSD Working Paper #2016–01: Estimating the value of federal housing assistance for the Supplemental Poverty Measure: eliminating the Public Housing Adjustment SEHSD Work. Pap. 2017-38 US Census Bur Washington, DC:
  71. Romig K. 2017. SSI: a lifeline for children with disabilities Rep., Cent Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/ssi-a-lifeline-for-children-with-disabilities
  72. Ruffing K, Pavetti L. 2012. SSI and children with disabilities: just the facts Rep., Cent Budg. Policy Prior Washington, DC: https://www.cbpp.org/research/ssi-and-children-with-disabilities-just-the-facts
  73. Scally CP, Gold A, Dubois N 2018. The low-income housing tax credit: how it works and who it serves Res. Rep Urban Inst Washington, DC:
  74. Strully KW, Rehkopf DH, Xuan Z 2010. Effects of prenatal poverty on infant health state Earned Income Tax Credits and birth weight. Am. Sociol. Rev. 75:534–62
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Tax Policy Cent 2018. What is the child tax credit?. Tax Policy Center Briefing Book Washington, DC: Tax Policy Cent https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-child-tax-credit
    [Google Scholar]
  76. US Census Bur 2017. America's families and living arrangements: 2017 Curr. Popul. Surv., US Census Bur Washington, DC: updated March 22, 2019. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/demo/families/cps-2017.html
  77. USDA Food Nutr. Serv 2019a. National School Lunch Program. USDA Food and Nutrition Service accessed July 29, 2019. https://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp
    [Google Scholar]
  78. USDA Food Nutr. Serv 2019b. WIC eligibility requirements. USDA Food and Nutrition Service accessed July 29, 2019. https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-eligibility-requirements
    [Google Scholar]
  79. US Dep. Health Hum. Serv 2019. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Program Brief, Adm. Child. Fam., US Dep. Health Hum. Serv Washington, DC: https://mchb.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/mchb/MaternalChildHealthInitiatives/HomeVisiting/pdf/programbrief.pdf
  80. Wherry LR, Meyer BD. 2016. Saving teens: using a policy discontinuity to estimate the effects of Medicaid eligibility. J. Hum. Resour. 51:556–88
    [Google Scholar]
  81. Wherry LR, Miller S, Kaestner R, Meyer BD 2018. Childhood Medicaid coverage and later-life health care utilization. Rev. Econ. Stat. 100:287–302
    [Google Scholar]
  82. Yeung WJ, Linver MR, Brooks-Gunn J 2002. How money matters for young children's development: parental investment and family processes. Child Dev 73:1861–79
    [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-devpsych-121318-084855
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-devpsych-121318-084855
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error