Published October 2000
This paper discusses the contribution made by American social scientists to the study of poverty in the past twenty five years. It has three parts. The first concentrates on the measurement of poverty and the fact that the US poverty line remained unchanged in that period despite its increasingly important deficiencies. Proposals to produce a revised poverty line and an Annual Poverty Report are advanced. The second part traces the change of emphasis in US writing about poverty both in terms of academic emphasis and prescription. The final part considers the policy impact of American work on poverty policy beyond America.