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Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Imputing Noncash Benefits to the Consumer Expenditure Survey Using Current Population Survey - Part I

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Working Paper Number SEHSD-WP2011-23


In March 2010 an Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) released guidelines on thresholds and resources for a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The ITWG recommended that thresholds include in‐kind benefits that are accounted for in calculating resources; however, the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), upon which the thresholds are based, contains limited information on in‐kind benefits. In earlier work, Garner (2010) imputed participation rates and benefits for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) by applying program eligibility guidelines to the CE sample (CE Eligibility Method). However, program eligibility rates do not equal participation rates since not all eligible households/individuals take up these programs. This paper presents an alternative method to imputing benefits, the CPS Participation Method. This method begins with a model of NSLP and WIC participation based on program participation rates reported in the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) for 2006‐2010. In the future, the estimates from the model will be used to impute program participation and assign in‐kind benefits to the CE.

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Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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