(noun) A scenario created when low-income individuals or families living in poverty, lose welfare or tax benefits when they secure employment or a higher salary, resulting in an overall worse economic condition because of the loss of their benefits.
Example: John had a full-time job in a developing industry. John was not able to afford childcare for his two pre-school children while he was at work. John was forced to switch to part-time employment that allowed him to care of his children with additional help from welfare. Because John had to leave his full-time job he loses benefits beyond pay such as future advancement opportunities, insurance, and a pension.
Audio Pronunciation: (pov·er·ty trap)
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- Plural: poverty traps
- The poverty trap is a disincentive to work or improve a person’s current socioeconomic status.
- Arrighi, Barbara A., and David J. Maume. 2007. Child Poverty in America Today. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Conroy, Anne C. 2006. Poverty, AIDS and Hunger: Breaking the Poverty Trap in Malawi. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Bowles, Samuel, Steven N. Durlauf, and Karla Ruth Hoff. 2006. Poverty Traps. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
- Ellwood, David T. 1988. Poor Support: Poverty in the American Family. New York: Basic Books.
- Goldsmith, William W., and Edward J. Blakely. 1992. Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
- Harrington, Michael. 1962. The Other America: Poverty in the United States. New York: Macmillan.
- Haveman, Robert H. 1976. Poverty, Income Distribution, and Social Policy: The Last Decade and the Next. Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin.
- Jargowsky, Paul A. 1997. Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
- Katz, Michael B. 1989. The Underserving Poor: From the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare. New York: Pantheon Books.
- Lowe, Gary R., and P. Nelson Reid. 1999. The Professionalization of Poverty: Social Work and the Poor in the Twentieth Century. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
- Morán, Ricardo, Amartya Kumar Sen, and Gro Harlem Brundtland. 2003. Escaping the Poverty Trap: Investing in Children in Latin America. Washington, DC: Published by the Inter-American Development Bank.
- Mosley, Paul, and Pamela Lenton. 2012. Financial Exclusion and the Poverty Trap: Overcoming Deprivation in the Inner City. London: Routledge.
- Raphael, Jody. 2004. Listening to Olivia: Violence, Poverty, and Prostitution. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
- Raphael, Jody. 2000. Saving Bernice: Battered Women, Welfare, and Poverty. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
- Tanner, Michael. 1996. The End of Welfare: Fighting Poverty in the Civil Society. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute.