Linking survey and administrative data better gauges impact of federal anitpovery efforts

Linking survey data with administrative records will enable the federal government to better gauge the effectiveness of social welfare programs such as food stamps and federal housing assistance, as well as the overall reach of federal antipoverty initiatives, Bruce D. Meyer today told a session audience at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM 2015) in Seattle.

During a presentation titled “Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data to Better Measure Income: Implications for Poverty, Program Effectiveness, and Holes in the Safety Net,” Meyer shared the findings of a study he conducted with Nikolas Mittag.

For the study, they combined data from the Current Population Survey (CPS)–the government’s source of official poverty and inequality statistics–with New York administrative records for four public assistance programs to better measure the receipt of government transfers and the effect of the programs on reducing the nation’s poverty rate. The studied programs are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly called food stamps; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); General Assistance; and Housing and Urban Development Housing Assistance.

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