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From AEAStat staff:  
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requests comment on the questions posed by the Interagency Technical Working Group on Evaluating Alternative Measures of Poverty (Working Group) to help inform the Working Group's recommendations on producing additional measures of poverty. The Working Group has developed a consensus interim report that details its considerations to date, available at https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=OMB-2019-0007-0002&contentType=pdf
The interim report outlines the history of poverty measurement in the U.S., describes the Working Group's considerations of an extended income-based poverty measure and a consumption-based poverty measure, and identifies other areas worthy of future research. It also identifies questions for public comment, toward the goal of helping to inform the remaining discussions of the Working Group, and meet their charge of identifying whether or not to recommend to the Chief Statistician of the United States that one or more new measures of poverty be developed and published. The Working Group's interim report reflects considerations to date, but does not reflect recommendations or decisions. This interim report and the Working Group's questions are being published to solicit input from the public.
Questions posed below are those the Working Group deemed most significant and relevant to the Working Group's remaining discussions. The questions have been sorted into broad categories for ease of review. In addition, a pointer to related discussion within the interim report follows each question.  
1. How should a sharing unit be defined? A sharing unit is meant to reflect the set of people sharing resources in a household. (See Adjusting for different sharing unit sizes.)

Resource Measures

2. What standards should the group use to determine which resource measures should be preferred? Specifically, to what extent should the group consider the following standards: (i) Association with other measures of material hardship, (ii) conceptual advantages, (iii) simplicity, (iv) feasibility (including data availability), (v) reproducibility? (See Advantages/Disadvantages of Income and Consumption Resource Measures. See also Multi-Dimensional Poverty Measurement and Individual Indicators of Well-Being.)

3. Should the value of health insurance be incorporated? And if so, how? (See Alternative versions of income measures with different values of health insurance.)

4. Should the value of education be incorporated? And if so, how? (See Treatment of Education.)

For a Potential Income Resource Measure

5. What income sources should be included (aside from health insurance, which is addressed by question 3)? If so, how? (See Income Measures Using the CPS ASEC and American Community Survey.)

6. What expenses, if any, should be subtracted from income? For example, how should medical out of pocket (MOOP) expenditures be treated in a new measure? Should other expenses such as childcare and commuting costs be subtracted? (See Income should be defined more broadly than pre-tax cash income currently used for the OPM.)

7. How should the Working Group address the problem of survey misreporting of income in household surveys? (See Correcting Survey Data for Misreporting and Improving Tax Estimates.)

For a Potential Consumption Resource Measure

8. What types of spending should be included as consumption (aside from spending on health care or insurance, which is addressed by question 3)? If so, how? (See Consumption Measures Using the Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey.)

9. How should vehicles and housing be included? (See Consumption Measures Using the Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey.)

10. How should the Working Group address the problem of survey misreporting of consumption in household surveys? Should the group consider using only those types of consumption that are reported with greater accuracy, while excluding less accurately measured types of consumption? What are the tradeoffs in using only well-measured consumption versus full consumption? (See Accounting for Expenditure Misreporting.)


11. How should the thresholds be set initially? (See Setting poverty thresholds in a baseline year.)

12. How should they be updated over time? (See Adjusting poverty thresholds over time.)

13. Should thresholds be adjusted for geographic areas? If so, how? (See Adjusting poverty thresholds across geographic areas.)

14. How should a sharing unit's size and composition be accounted for? (See Adjusting for different sharing unit sizes.)

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