Category Archives: Measuring Poverty

New Article: Price Tags on Citizenship: The Constitutionality of the Form N-600 Fee

New Article: Juan Esteban Bedoya, Note, Price Tags on Citizenship: The Constitutionality of the Form N-600 Fee, 95 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1022 (2020). Abstract Below:

Proof of citizenship is of paramount importance. In the United States, the need for citizenship documentation is particularly acute in light of heightened immigration enforcement. For U.S. citizens born abroad, proof of citizenship can be obtained by submitting a Form N-600 to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which in turn provides a Certificate of Citizenship. Although these individuals are entitled to citizenship and all of its benefits by statute, they are required to pay $1170 in order to obtain this Certificate. This Note seeks to analyze the constitutionality of this exorbitant fee. Determination of citizenship confers with it important rights and several privileges, such as access to employment, the ability to vote and seek public office, and many other government benefits. Perhaps more importantly, determination of citizenship also confers protection—protection from detention, from removal proceedings, and from deportation. This Note analyzes the viability of a constitutional challenge to the $1170 filing fee through a procedural due process claim, the importance of which is underscored by the life-altering consequences of citizenship as well as the benefits and protections it affords. Simply put, access to the benefits of citizenship should not turn on a citizen’s ability to pay a prohibitively expensive fee; the Constitution demands greater protections.

New Article: Race and Medical Double-Binds

New Article: Craig Konnoth, Race and Medical Double-Binds, Colum. L. Rev. Forum (2021). Abstract Below:

Race and medicine scholarship is beset by a conundrum. On one hand, some racial justice scholars and advocates frame the harms that racial minorities experience through a medical lens. Poverty and home­lessness are social determinants of health that medical frameworks should account for. Racism itself is a public health threat. On the other hand, other scholars treat medicine with skepticism. Medical frameworks, they argue, will reify racially charged narratives of biological inferiority. This Piece affirmatively claims that the debate is unresolvable. Rather, the re­lationship between race and medicine should be conceptualized as a double-bind, a concept that creates space for mutually contradictory claims. Indeed, such contradictions are a feature of a double-bind such that the harm a minority faces is intensified. This understanding also breaks ground for antidiscrimination scholarship more generally, which histori­cally has assumed that prominent double-bind frameworks do not apply to racial minorities. Accu­rately mapping all sides of the conceptual space that race and medi­cine advocacy scholarship occupies creates space for future work to think of ways in which to resolve the double-bind.

New Issue: Wealth Inequality and Child Development: Implications for Policy and Practice

New Issue: Wealth Inequality and Child Development: Implications for Policy and Practice, 7 RSF J. Soc. Sci. (2021). List of Articles Within Below:

New Article: The Consumption, Income, and Well-Being of Single Mother Headed Families 25 Years After Welfare Reform

New Article: Jeehoon Han et al., The Consumption, Income, and Well-Being of Single Mother Headed Families 25 Years After Welfare Reform, Nat’l Bureau Econ. Rsch. (2021). Abstract and Description Below:

We investigate how material well-being has changed over time for single mother headed families—the primary group affected by welfare reform and other policy changes of the 1990s. We focus on consumption as well as other indicators including components of consumption, measures of housing quality, and health insurance coverage. The results provide strong evidence that the material circumstances of single mothers improved in the decades following welfare reform. The consumption of the most disadvantaged single mother headed families—those with low consumption or low education—rose noticeably over time and at a faster rate than for those in comparison groups.

Census Bureau Poverty and Health 2020 Reports

 Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020

Census Bureau,  Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2020

Census Bureau, The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2020

New Report: American Poverty Should Be Measured Relative to the Prevailing Standards of Our Time

New Report: David Brady, American Poverty Should Be Measured Relative to the Prevailing Standards of Our Time, Century Foundation 2021. 

News Coverage: A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains

Alla Katsnelson, News Coverage: A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains, N.Y. Times (Apr. 7, 2021). Introduction below:

New monthly payments in the pandemic relief package have the potential to lift millions of American children out of poverty. Some scientists believe the payments could change children’s lives even more fundamentally — via their brains.

New Article: Poverty Reduction in the United States During its Middle-Income Stage Development

Indermit S. Gill & Eric L. Dixon, Poverty Reduction in the United States During Its Middle-Income State of Development (Duke Global Working Paper Series No. 33, 2021). Abstract below:

This paper is one of three country studies of successful anti-poverty measures during upper middle-income levels, the other two being Japan and the Republic of Korea. Though the US did not advance an explicit anti-poverty agenda until the 1960s, assisting the economically distressed was a key priority of the New Deal. Average education, life expectancy and earnings all increased during 1920-1960. Poverty fell by two-thirds to around 22 percent as the mean income rose and income inequality fell beginning in the 1940s. Economic gaps among Black Americans, women, the South, and rural areas converged, though these gaps persist to this day. Migration, urbanization, and the structural shift away from agricultural jobs transformed the economy. These, along with factors such as strong collective bargaining and access to education, helped keep low incomes rising amidst overall growth. New Deal policies that impacted market incomes (labor laws, farm subsidies, education) fueled poverty reduction more than transfers (direct relief, work relief, social insurance). Though welfare programs helped lower the poverty gap and were important policy innovations, the payment levels were too low to bring people out of poverty—defined in a manner appropriate for a country on the cusp of high income—until well after 1960.

New Article: Civil v. Criminal Legal Aid

New Article: Shaun Ossei-Owusu, Civil v. Criminal Legal Aid, Southern California Law Review (Forthcoming) (posted: Nov. 3, 2020).

The past few decades have highlighted the insidious effects of poverty, particularly for poor people who lack access to legal representation. Accordingly, there have been longstanding calls for “Civil Gideon,” which refers to a right to counsel in civil cases that would address issues tied to housing, public benefits, family issues, and various areas of law that poor people are often disadvantaged by due to their lack of attorneys. This civil right to counsel would complement the analogous criminal right that has been constitutionalized. Notwithstanding the persuasive arguments made for and against Civil Gideon, it is less clear why there is such a sharp distinction between civil and criminal legal aid. This Article re-examines longstanding assumptions about the civil-criminal legal aid divide and highlights some underexamined explanations: the legal profession’s historical implication in this division; courts’ unwillingness to use their inherent powers to appoint counsel; and courts’ enduringly narrow understandings of when poor people should be provided with lawyers. These insights prompt alternative reflections on how to best deliver legal services to poor people.

New Article: Poverty as Misrecognition: What Role for Anti-Discrimination Law in Europe?

New Article: Sarah Ganty, Poverty as Misrecognition: What Role for Anti-Discrimination Law in Europe?, EUI Department of Law (Oct. 21, 2020).

It is widely agreed on that victims of discrimination on traditional status grounds such as gender, race and religion are overrepresented among the poor and undereducated. People living in poverty also face discrimination because of their socioeconomic situation. Many national, European and international anti-discrimination provisions prohibit discrimination based on a person’s socioeconomic situation. It is striking, however, that this is barely applied in practice. There is little case law related to this at national, international and European levels. This situation is surprising, especially in the context of the financial retrenchment ongoing since 2008, and regarding the numerous accounts of direct and indirect discrimination affecting people who are unemployed, undereducated, poor or homeless. On the basis of domestic – Belgian, French and British – and European material, this paper argues that the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of social condition is an empowering legal tool which adds value to Human Rights law, EU law and Discrimination law in the protection of socioeconomically disadvantaged people – especially regarding issues of misrecognition – for four main reasons: the exclusive applicability of this ground in some cases, its important cross-cutting role in cases of multiple discrimination, the direct scrutiny of the socioeconomic position of the applicants which this ground implies, and its determining role in combating stereotypes, prejudice and stigma against poor and undereducated people.