Consumption and Income Poverty for Those 65 and Over
This paper examines income and consumption based measures of poverty for those 65 and over between 1972 and 2004. This study contributes to the existing literature on poverty in several ways. First, we construct consumption based measures of poverty that improve upon measures used in previous studies. In particular, we incorporate the value of health insurance into our measure of consumption, and we develop better measures of consumption of durables including vehicles and housing. Second, we provide estimates of consumption based poverty for those 65 and over using the most recent data through 2004. Third, we examine the effect on poverty trends of alternative price indices, equivalence scales, and resource sharing units (the family or household). Fourth, in addition to poverty rates, which focus on the cumulative distribution function at a single point, we also study extreme poverty, near poverty and poverty gaps in order to examine more fully the trends in well-being of older individuals.
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