Presentation on theme: "Urban Men In Poverty: Problems and Solutions Geoffrey L. Wallace La Follette School of Public Affairs Institute for Research on Poverty University of Wisconsin."— Presentation transcript:
Urban Men In Poverty: Problems and Solutions Geoffrey L. Wallace La Follette School of Public Affairs Institute for Research on Poverty University of Wisconsin - Madison
Overview of My Talk The case for focusing on male poverty Poverty measurement Male poverty at the national level Characteristics of men at high risk for poverty Characteristics of poor men Income sources and other resources available to poor men and their families The 2013 Wisconsin Poverty Report Conclusions
Why Focus on Men? Spillovers – the economic circumstances of men affect the economic well-being of women and children Marriage – male socioeconomic status affects the marital prospects for women, which in turn affects child and female poverty Child-support – the economic circumstances of men affects their ability to meet child support obligations, which in turn affects child poverty Men are a source of family income 40% of men live with children One-third of poor men live with children
Why Focus on Men?, Cont. Troubling trends for less educated men, particularly blacks There has been a mass retreat from employment among less-skilled men 2000 annual employment rates: Men ages 18-64 with a high school education or less: 84% Black men ages 18-64 with a high school education or less: 73% 2013 annual employment rates: Men ages 18-64 with a high school education or less: 73% Black men ages 18-64 with a high school education or less: 58% Less skilled men who do work have seen their earnings decline substantially 20 percent decline in median wages for men without a high school diploma between 1990 and 2013 (The Hamilton Project, 2015) 13 percent decline in median wages for men with a high school diploma or some college between 1990 and 2013 (The Hamilton Project, 2015) Disappearing men – for every 100 black women ages 25-54 there are only 83 black men (The Upshot, April 20, 2015)
Pros and Cons of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) Pros Broader view of the resource sharing unit – considers related individuals in the same dwelling as well as cohabiters and unrelated children to be part of the resource sharing unit Is directly affected by the policy levers that are currently used to assist low income populations Non-cash benefits such as food stamps, housing assistance, school lunch programs, and energy assistance Taxes and refundable tax credits Out-of-pocket medical expenses and work expenses (including child care expenses) Cons Not officially available before 2009 Does not facilitate comparisons over time I will focus on the SPM
Who are the Poor Men? We get some hints from examining poverty rates However, a group that has a high poverty rate, but represents a small share of the population might not represent a very large percentage of the poor. Likewise, a group that has a low poverty rate, but represents a large share of the population might represent a large share of the poor. Let’s look more closely at the composition of the pool of poor men What characteristics do they have? What sort of living arrangements are they in?
Distribution of Poor Men Across Location: More than 75% of Poor Men Live in Metro Areas
Resource Sources of Poor Men: Three Cases These groupings roughly split poor men into thirds Poor nonfamily men – men who are not cohabitating and do not live with other relatives Poor men in families without children – men who live in family units (including cohabiters) without children Poor men in families with children – men who live in family units (including cohabiters) with children
Poverty Increased Slightly in 2013, According to the Official and WPM
Milwaukee and La Crosse counties have poverty rates that are higher than the state rate of 10.9% The WOW counties, Fond du Lac, and many of the counties that border Minnesota south of the Twin Cities have lower rates of poverty than the state average.
Overall the rate of male poverty in Wisconsin is low (9.7%) Male poverty rates in most parts of Milwaukee County are higher than the state average There are large differences in poverty rates within Milwaukee County By far the highest rates of poverty within the county are in the central city (23.7%)
Conclusions Male poverty is an urban phenomenon – more than 75% of poor men live in metro areas Characteristics of men at elevated risk for poverty Reside in central city Younger than 25 years old Black or Hispanic HS dropout or HS grad with no college Not in married couple families Not working FTFY These same groups make up a large share of poor men Evidence of barriers to employment High rates of self-reported disability among poor men 25-64 that were not employed High rates of self-reported disability and difficulty finding work among poor black men ages 25-64 who were not employed
Conclusions, cont. What income resources are important to poor men depends on their living arrangements Non-family individuals Not likely to receive cash, non-cash transfers, or benefit from tax credits Most pay payroll taxes and have substantial deductible expenses (work expenses, and out-of- pocket medical expenses) Men in families without children Cash transfers other than UI, welfare, and SSI are important The majority pay taxes and have substantial deductible expenses (particularly out-of-pocket medical expenses) Men in families with children Non-cash transfers are important This group benefits the most from tax credits – modally and on average they receive net benefits from the tax system They also have substantial deductible expenses (work expenses and out-of-pocket medical expenses)
Conclusions, cont. Out-of-pocket medical expenses are a substantial drain on the resources of poor men In 2013 most were not eligible for Medicaid In states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act we should see declines in SPM poverty (all else equal).