Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in Ten Years

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) is conducting a study of child poverty to “provide an evidence-based, non-partisan analysis of the macroeconomic, health, and crime/social costs of child poverty, to study current efforts aimed at reducing poverty, and to propose recommendations with the goal of reducing the number of children living in poverty in the United States by half in 10 years.” This effort is led by a distinguished group of scholars, including several RSF authors, former visiting scholars and grantees. It is staffed by Natacha Blain and Suzanne Le Menestrel at NAS.

The NAS committee has five tasks. First, it will synthesize the available research on the macro- and micro-economic, health, and social costs of child poverty, with attention to linkages between child poverty and health, education, employment, crime and child well-being. Second, it will analyze the poverty-reducing effects of assistance programs directed at children and families in the U.S. and in other industrialized nations. Next, it will identify promising anti-poverty policies and programs, as measured by the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), that can reduce poverty by 50 percent within 10 years of their implementation. Fourth, the committee will suggest how federal policymakers can identify and assess potential combinations of policies that best meet their policy objectives. This will include estimating the poverty-reducing effects of each policy option, and how they vary across demographic groups. Finally, the committee will identify high-priority research gaps that would significantly advance our knowledge base.

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