The U.S. Census Bureau’s method of calculating who is poor and who is not has been under fire by researchers for years because it doesn’t calculate the benefits of anti-poverty programs—such as food stamps and housing subsidies—into its formula. In response to the criticism, the Census Bureau released in the fall of 2011 the Supplemental Poverty Measure to more accurately assess poverty in America. Though the new supplemental measure uses a definition of income that is conceptually closer to resources available for consumption than pretax money income, a new study by University of Notre Dame economist James X. Sullivan finds that even the Supplementary Poverty Measure provides an inaccurate reflection of deprivation in this country.
Timothy Fuerst, one of the most-cited economists in the world, is joining the University of Notre Dame this fall as William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Economics. Fuerst’s appointment is the “crown jewel” in a series of recent hires that will bring even greater depth and diversity to the rapidly growing Department of Economics, says Chair Richard Jensen, the Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics.