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The Poor: Defined and Estimated in Terms of Subsistence Need and Economic Class

  • Edward J. O’Boyle
Chapter

Abstract

There are two ways to address the problem of defining and measuring unmet physical need. One is by demonstrated need, the other is by presumed need. By demonstrated need, a set of physical needs is defined beforehand and a person is determined to be needy (more or less) if he/she is able to demonstrate that his/her financial resources are inadequate to provide (more or less) for those needs. This method is used in the social-assistance form of direct aid to the needy, such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, and Public Assistance. By presumed need, a person is presumed to be needy if a certain reasonably predictable life event occurs that is indicative of need such as becoming unemployed, being elderly and sick, or being orphaned. This method is used in social-insurance programs such as Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, and Survivors Insurance. Presumption scrutinizes personal and family financial circumstances less intrusively than demonstration.

Keywords

Income Distribution Current Population Survey Relative Standard Poverty Threshold Current Population Report 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward J. O’Boyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Louisiana Tech UniversityUSA

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