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Poverty Studies

Low-income Americans are struggling. Poverty has risen, the work participation rate is at its lowest point since the 1970s, and median incomes have stagnated. AEI’s work on poverty seeks to reverse that trend by enhancing opportunity for low-income Americans. From safety net policy to education and family policy, AEI aims to provide pathbreaking work on the root causes of poverty, and the policy changes that most effectively address them. This page contains an up-to-date selection of content from AEI’s scholarly community.

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Less decent-paying work for less-educated men, cultural shifts away from marriage-centered familism, and the erosion of masculinity have drastically reduced marriage rates and eroded American society.

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The existing higher education system is not narrowing gaps between high- and low-income families; rather, it is widening them.

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What happens to people who win the lottery? And what should they (and the rest of us) know about money?

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The number of married parents in the United States decreased from 78% in 1980 to 66% in 2012. Series of studies showed that the rise of single-parent households isn’t just a social and cultural phenomena—it has important economic implications.

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The number of families with children headed up by married couples has fallen markedly over the past 30 years. This trend is worrisome because family structure is highly correlated with many measures of economic mobility.

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Percent Change in Unsheltered Homeless

Using newly released data, these four charts go beyond the official numbers to expose what’s really going on with homelessness across America.

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People wait in line to enter the Nassau County Mega Job Fair at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York October 7, 2014.

Conservatives, who champion work and earned success, should be the first to agree that more can be done to encourage these goals.

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If political, business, and thought leaders, economists, religious leaders, and educators are serious about confronting economic inequality, social immobility, and stagnating wages, they also need to focus on how to reverse the retreat from marriage in America.

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Family structure is a reliable predictor to long-term success. Following the traditional family plan as well as avoiding divorce is now being preferred by well educated Americans, but middle and lower class Americans need to catch on in order to set themselves up for success.

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Six charts that show one issue largely missing from the public conversation about economics in America: an honest discussion of the family factor.

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