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The Dynamics of Poverty Spells and Issues of Left-Censoring

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Download PDF versionIceland, John. "The Dynamics of Poverty Spells and Issues of Left-Censoring." PSC Research Report No. 97-378. January 1997.

Although the availability of panel data has augmented our knowledge of poverty dynamics, the challenges posed by the presence of left-censored data remain. This analysis, using 1970 to 1985 data from the PSID, demonstrates that omitting left-censored observations, which is still the norm, could lead to serious selection bias in an analysis by systematically discarding individuals in the midst of long-term poverty spells and from certain demographic groups. Although there is still no single accepted way of dealing with left-censoring, several methods that may mitigate the problem are discussed.

Dataset(s): Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID): U.S., 1970-1985.

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