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Flashcards in The Causes of Poverty Deck (16):

Redistribution (of income and/or wealth)

The transfer of income and wealth from some individuals to others in a society by means of a social mechanism such as taxation, monetary policies, welfare, land reform, charity


labor market institutions

policies, organizations, and systems that regulate the labor market (such as the minimum wage, unions, the education system, mandatory benefits, etc)


upstream versus downstream approaches to poverty

upstream approaches to poverty seek to prevent poverty at the source of the problem. Downstream approaches seek to address the social problems associated with poverty, such as poor health, lower education, and incarceration


early childhood

a stage in human development, generally from age 2-6


nature vs. nurture

a debate about whether a person's characterisitics are determined primarily through genetics at birth or through social circumstances



the study of how experience can modify a gene expression


prevention versus remediation

a difference in social policy emphasis. Policies are either attempt to prevent inequalities from forming at the source of the problem or can later address inequalities produced by giving extra support to disadvantaged groups


human capital

a collection of resources such as knowledge, experience, and skills that can produce economic value through labor



short for "intelligence quotient". A score determined by performance on a standardized test designed to measure intelligence, relative to the performance of others of the same age


cognitive skills

the underlying abilities that help us process information, reason, remember and learn. The brain skills that help us gain meaning and knowledge from experience and information


noncognitive skills

skills unrelated to cognition or analytical thought, such as emotional or social skills, including perseverance, motivation, self-control, empathy, and communication skills, among others


rate of return

the profit from an investment over time, measured as a proportion of the original investment (in this case: the dollar flow from a unit of investment in a disadvantaged child at current levels of expenditure


opportunity cost

the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen (in this case: the opportunity cost of funds invested in disadvantaged children is the return from funds if they were invested for other purposes)


multigenerational poverty

economic disadvantage that is passed down though family generations, so that a child living in a poor neighborhood has parents and even grandparents who have lived in similarly poor conditions; indicative of entrenched social structures that block social mobility


economic shock

an unexpected or unpredictable event that affects a household's economic stability, such as a job loss or high medical costs


income variability/volatility

the fluctuation in a family's income over time