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Estimating and Benchmarking the Trend in Poverty from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.

December 2007

Lloyd D. Grieger, Sheldon Danziger, Robert F. Schoeni.

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Since 1968, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) has collected economic, demographic, and social data on a national sample of the U.S. population. The PSID was established to examine the dynamics of economic life, particularly dynamics in poverty status. As a result, the PSID has been widely used by poverty researchers, with 390 publications on “poverty” listed in the PSID bibliography as of October 2007. This paper has two goals: to guide researchers through the process of calculating the poverty rate from the PSID for each year from 1968 to the present; and to compare the level and trend in PSID poverty rates to that of the official Census Bureau rates that are based on the March Current Population Survey (CPS).

Poverty Trends and Measurement