New Study: Understanding the Full Cost of Child Poverty

Posted by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity on September 20, 2022

A new study by Christina Gibson-Davis, a public policy and sociology professor at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, details the importance of incorporating lack of wealth – “family assets, life savings, and property” – when discussing factors contributing to child poverty. Gibson-Davis believes policy changes must address income and wealth to impact child poverty. According to the research, net worth poverty negatively affects cognitive and behavior scores, supporting Gibson-Davis’s belief that “wealth deprivation likely has effects on children.” Focusing on “how children are affected by net worth poverty,” Gibson-Davis says that when provided the opportunity to build wealth, families can construct an “economic buffer,” providing a safety net during financial hardships. Gibson-Davis offered options that may improve children’s future outcomes, such as reparations for Black families, a group more likely to have net worth poverty.

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