A large portion of US children live in poverty—22 percent according to the official measure, and 18 percent according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The SPM shows that child poverty is alleviated by the current safety net, but despite those benefits child poverty has risen over the last decade.
Within that context, the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) contracted with the Urban Institute to assess the costs and impacts of a variety of policy options that could further reduce child poverty
The research described in this report examines the potential impacts of a set of antipoverty policies proposed by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). The policies include a minimum wage increase, a transitional jobs program, expanded tax credits, increased availability of housing and child care subsidies, increased nutrition benefits, and changes to how benefit programs treat families’ child support income. Using the technique of microsimulation, we estimated the extent to which the policies would reduce child poverty as well as how much the policies would cost, for each policy individually and for the package of policies. Poverty was assessed using the SPM, since that measure takes into account not only a family’s cash income, but also the value of the in-kind benefits that they receive and the amount of tax that they must pay.