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Child poverty, gender-wage gap


Child poverty is an immense societal problem because of the unnecessary hardship it creates for the children who experience it, and the ways in which it negatively impacts others as well. Poor children experience malnutrition, lower academic performance, and higher death rates than children not in poverty. In addition, poverty continues to follow them throughout their life time. There are additional negative results for society as well. Higher healthcare costs and lower productivity can harm the economy. Communities with high child poverty levels also experience additional education and interaction challenges (Griggs and Walker 2008). Reducing child poverty would not only help the specific people who experience it, but all of society as well. This is specifically important for the United States. Despite the high income levels in the US, it also has one of the highest child poverty levels in the developed world. It is in society’s best interest to do everything possible to identify why our child poverty rates are higher than in other countries, and work to bring them down. While many papers have worked to determine the cause of child poverty, none of the empirical literature examines the role of the gender wage gap.


Advisor: Dr. Steve Henson, Economics Department