This consensus study report from the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, released in February 2019, concludes that poverty causes negative outcomes for children, especially if it occurs in early childhood or persists through a large part of childhood. More than 9.6 million U.S. children live in families with annual incomes below the poverty line and studies estimate that child poverty costs the nation between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion annually in terms of lost adult productivity, the increased costs of crime, and increased health expenditures. The consensus study report identifies packages of policies and programs that could reduce child poverty by half within 10 years, at a cost far lower than costs the United States currently bears.
Webinar: Findings from the report Committee members Greg Duncan, University of California at Irvine, and Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution present findings from the report. LaDonna Pavetti, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Cara Baldari, First Focus, offer their reactions.
Report Release Briefing Webcast
Statement of Task
An ad hoc committee of experts will convene to conduct a consensus study of the costs of child poverty in the United States and the effectiveness of current efforts aimed at reducing poverty. The committee will review available high-quality research on current programs, with emphasis on evaluations that include benefit-cost analysis. Based on these analyses the committee will make recommendations for federal investment aimed at reducing the number of children living in poverty in the United States by half within 10 years. The committee will address five specific charges:
1. Briefly review and synthesize the available research on the macro- and micro-economic, health, and social costs of child poverty, with attention to linkages between child poverty and health, education, employment, crime, and child well-being.
2. Briefly assess current international, federal, state, and local efforts to reduce child poverty. The committee will provide an analysis of the poverty-reducing effects of existing major assistance programs directed at children and families in the United States, as well as relevant programs developed in other industrialized countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland.
3. Identify policies and programs with the potential to help reduce child poverty and deep poverty (measured using the SPM) by 50 percent within 10 years of the implementation of the policy approach.
4. For the programs the committee identifies as having strong potential to reduce child poverty, the committee will provide analysis in a format that will allow federal policy makers to identify and assess potential combinations of policy investments that can best meet their policy objectives.
5. Identify key, high-priority research gaps the filling of which would significantly advance the knowledge base for developing policies to reduce child poverty in the United States and assessing their impacts.
2nd Information Gathering Session, September 21, 2017
The Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children Living in Poverty by Half in 10 Years held a second public information-gathering session on Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.
During the half day meeting, the committee had the opportunity to hear from invited speakers who discussed community-based approaches to reducing child poverty as well as contextual issues that have an impact on poverty reduction strategies. Members of the public also had an opportunity to ask questions or provide comments to the speakers and committee as time permitted.
The meeting was free and opened to the public. Registrants had the option to attend in person or to participate via the live webcast.
The Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children Living in Poverty by Half in 10 Years held a public information-gathering session on June 20, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.
During this half day meeting, the committee had the opportunity to hear from invited speakers who presented ideas for programs and policies aimed at reducing short-run child poverty. Members of the public also had an opportunity to ask questions or provide comments to the speakers and committee as time permitted.
Greg Duncan, Ph.D.(Chair)
School of Education
University of California, Irvine
J. Lawrence Aber, Ph.D.
Willner Family Professor of Psychology
and Public Policy
New York University
Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Ph.D.
Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and
Director, Institute for Child, Youth and
Brandeis University Janet Currie, Ph.D.
Henry Putnam Professor of Economics
and Policy Affairs
Chair, Department of Economics
Director, Center for Health and
Benard P. Dreyer, M.D., FAAP
Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Developmental-Behavioral
New York University School of
Director of Pediatrics, Bellevue
Irwin Garfinkel, Ph.D.
Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of
Contemporary Urban Problems
Interim Dean, Columbia University
School of Social Work
Ron Haskins, Ph.D. Senior Fellow in ES
Hilary Hoynes, Ph.D. Professor of Public Policy and
Haas Distinguished Chair of
University of California, Berkeley
Christine James-Brown, B. A.
President & CEO
Child Welfare League of America
Vonnie C. McLoyd, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Michigan
Robert Moffitt, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D. Director, Center of Health and Social
Director, Child and Research
Associate Professor of Public Affairs
University of Texas at Austin
Eldar Shafir, Ph.D. Class of 1987, Professor of Behavioral
Science and Public Policy
Timothy (Tim) Smeeding, Ph.D.
Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor
of Public Affairs and Economics
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Don Winstead, Jr., B.A.
Principal and Founder
Don Winstead Consulting, LLC
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Foundation for Child Development
Marguerite Casey Foundation
The Buffet Early Childhood Fund
The W.K.Kellogg Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
William T. Grant Foundation
Russell Sage Foundation