Report to Reduce Intergenerational Poverty Released by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine  

By Cheyenne Galloway 

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced the release this week of a consensus study report that analyzes intergenerational poverty and its effects on individuals.

NASEM writes, “Experiencing poverty during childhood can lead to lasting harmful effects that compromise not only children’s health and welfare but can also limit them to a lifetime of poverty that passes on to future generations.

“This cycle of economic disadvantages weighs heavily not only on these families but also the nation, reducing overall economic output and placing increased burden on the educational, criminal justice, and health care systems.

“This new consensus study report examines how poverty passes from one generation to another, identifies potential policies and programs to reduce it, and makes recommendations to address gaps in data and research,” said the study.

According to the NASEM, the report also provides policy recommendations and programs aimed at reducing deep-rooted intergenerational poverty and, in turn, its adverse effects on families. Moreover, a section suggests propositions to mitigate gaps in data and research surrounding the topic.

NASEM plans to build on findings, recommendations, and determinations presented in the latest mandated report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty | The National Academies Press (

Applying a racial/ethnic inequities perspective, the organization said it will analyze literature on crucial factors plaguing impoverished areas and review evidence demonstrating the positive capacity of programs.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine explains its methodology for the report, providing a four-step process on how an ad hoc committee will work.

“Briefly assess the available research documenting the correlations and causes of the perpetuation of poverty from childhood into adulthood. The committee will evaluate the racial disparities and structural factors contributing to this cycle. Based on that review of evidence, the committee will identify key drivers of long-term, intergenerational poverty,” reported NASEM on their website.

NASEM said it will review previous research on the outcomes of practical education, assistance, and intervention programs aimed to combat intergenerational poverty. Based on available findings, NASEM proposes studying established and novice programs in other industrialized countries, such as Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

NASEM said the committee will: “Consider impacts on intergenerational poverty, if possible, as defined by the Supplemental Poverty Measure; the distribution of poverty-reducing impacts across demographic groups (as defined by such characteristics as race and ethnicity, rural or urban location, immigrant status, age of parent, and age of child); behavioral responses to these programs that may influence their poverty-reducing effects (for example, the Earned Income Tax Credit creates incentives to increase parental earnings).”

NASEM also said it would identify concrete policies and programs that can address intergenerational poverty and, in turn, multi-generational poverty. The committee will accomplish this by building on existing propositions and creating new ones.

And it would strategically map the costs, efficacy, and benefits of these programs and deliberately comparing these factors of each program to one another, “the committee will provide analysis in a way that will allow federal policymakers to identify and assess potential combinations of policy investments that can best meet their policy objectives.”

Finally, NASEM will indicate crucial gaps in the current research to better develop effective policies and programs for curbing the United States’ intergenerational poverty.

About The Author

Cheyenne Galloway recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a double major in Political Science and Italian Studies. Graduating at the top of her class and achieving the distinction Laurea cum laude in her Italian Studies major, she showcases her enthusiasm for knowledge, finding ways to think critically and creatively. She is particularly interested in writing and reporting on social justice and human rights, but as a writing/reporting generalist, she enjoys researching and communicating various topics through written expression.

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