Remembering Mollie Orshansky—The Developer of the Poverty Thresholds

by Gordon M. Fisher
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 3, 2008

A Chronological Bibliography of Mollie Orshansky's Work (Including Congressional Testimony)

1949

"Income and Prices." In Rural Family Living Reports: Speeches on Rural Family Living given at the 27th Annual Outlook Conference, Department of Agriculture, 48–53.

1952

"Equivalent Levels of Living: Farm and City." In Studies in Income and Wealth, Volume 15—Conference on Research in Income and Wealth. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 175–200.

1953

"Statistics on Wage Stabilization Board Operations," Chapter 40. In Wage Stabilization Program, 1950–1953, vol. 2. Washington, DC: Wage Stabilization Board, Economic Stabilization Agency, 334–376 and 391–425.

1955

(a) "Family Purchasing Practices." Rural Family Living [later renamed Family Economics Review] (July): 5–9. [A modified version of this analysis was included as "Family Food Purchasing Practices" in Orshansky, Blake, and Moss 1956.]

(b) "Food Preservation Practices and Relation to Age and Education of Homemaker." Rural Family Living [later renamed Family Economics Review] (November): 10–12. [A modified version of this analysis was included in Orshansky, Blake, and Moss 1956.]

(c) "Food Preservation Practices and Relation to Income and Size of Family." Rural Family Living [later renamed Family Economics Review] (November): 8–10. [A modified version of this analysis was included in Orshansky, Blake, and Moss 1956.]

(d) "Pasteurization." Rural Family Living [later renamed Family Economics Review] (July): 10–11. [A modified version of this analysis was included in Orshansky, Blake, and Moss 1956.]

1956

(a) "On Family Food Patterns." Rural Family Living (August): 6–9. [This is a different article from the identically titled Orshansky 1957; the two articles cover different topics. A modified version of this analysis was included in Orshansky, LeBovit, Blake, and Moss 1957.]

with Ennis C. Blake, and Mary Ann Moss.
(b) "Food Expenditures, Preservation and Home Production by Rural Families in the North Central Region, 1951–52." Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 113. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. [This report included modified versions of Orshansky 1955 articles.]

1957

(a) "Food Consumption." Food Consumption and Dietary Levels of Households in the United States…some highlights from the Household Food Consumption Survey, Spring 1955 (ARS 62-6), 1–10. [A reprinting (with some modifications) of Orshansky's 1957(c) "Food Consumption of Families Today."]

with Corinne LeBovit, Ennis C. Blake, and Mary Ann Moss
(b) "Food Consumption and Dietary Levels of Rural Families in the North Central Region, 1952." Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 157. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. [This report included modified versions of Orshansky's 1956(a) and 1957(f).]

(c) "Food Consumption of Families Today." Nutrition Committee News (March–April): 1–8. [Reprinted (with some modifications) as Orshansky 1957(a).]

with Mary Ann Moss
(d) "Home Freezing and Canning by Households in the United States." Family Economics Review (October): 12–15.

with Corinne LeBovit
(e) "Income Differences in Family Food Consumption and Dietary Levels." Family Economics Review [formerly Rural Family Living] (June): 15–18.

(f) "On Family Food Patterns." Rural Family Living (March): 4–7. [This is a different article from the identically titled "On Family Food Patterns" (Orshansky 1956); the two articles cover different topics. A modified version of this analysis was included in Orshansky, LeBovit, Blake, and Moss 1957.]

with Corinne LeBovit
(g) "Regional Differences in Family Food Consumption and Dietary Levels." Family Economics Review (June): 18–19.

1958

(a) "Changes in Farm Family Food Patterns." In Farm Family Spending in the United States: Some Changes as Indicated by Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Expenditure Surveys. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 192. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 7–13 and 38–47.

(b) "Home Baking." Family Economics Review (March): 1–5.

1959

[unattributed]
(a) "Facts About Families." Social Security Bulletin 22(5): 9–14.

(b) "Family Budgets and Fee Schedules of Voluntary Agencies." Social Security Bulletin 22(4): 10–17.

(c) "Income of Young Survivors, December 1958." Social Security Bulletin 22(9): 10–15 and 24.

[unattributed]
(d) "Low-Cost Food Plans—New Regional Estimates." Research and Statistics Note No. 28. Washington, DC: DHEW/SSA.

1960

(a) "Budget for a Retired Elderly Couple: Interim Revision by the Bureau of Labor Statistics." Research and Statistics Note No. 29. [This note summarized some of the information from Orshansky 1960(b).]

(b) "Budget for an Elderly Couple: Interim Revision by the Bureau of Labor Statistics." Social Security Bulletin 23(12): 26–36.

(c) "Facts About Financial Resources of the Aged" (prepared for the Chartbook for the White House Conference on Aging, January 9–12, 1961). Research and Statistics Note No. 30. [This note included "basic data for Charts 10–25" for the Chartbook for the White House Conference on Aging, and some additional material. For the published version of the charts, see Orshansky 1961(a).]

[unattributed]
(d) "Income Needs of the Aged [material submitted for the record]." In Health Needs of the Aged and Aging: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Problems of the Aged and Aging of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. 86th Congress, 2nd session, April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13, 1960, 140–141.

(e) "Money Income Sources of Young Survivors, December 1959." Social Security Bulletin 23(9): 10–13.

1961

[unattributed]
(a) Charts 10–25 (and accompanying text), 18–34 (and source notes, 79–80). In 1961 White House Conference on Aging Chartbook. [For the unpublished version of these charts and accompanying text with "some additional material," see Orshansky 1960(c).]

with Thomas Karter [unattributed]
(b) Economic and Social Status of the Negro in the United States. New York: National Urban League. [The data in this pamphlet were first used at the National Urban League's 1961 Annual Conference in Dayton, Ohio.]

(c) "Money Income Sources of Young Survivors, December 1960." Social Security Bulletin 24(10): 14–18 (October).

1963

"Children of the Poor." Social Security Bulletin 26(7): 3–13 (July). [Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 5–15.]

1964

"The Aged Negro and His Income." Social Security Bulletin 27(2): 3–13 (February).

1965

(a) [address], pp. 24–28, and [discussion], pp. 39–41, 42, 43–44, 47, and 49, in Proceedings of 23rd Interstate Conference on Labor Statistics, June 15–18, 1965, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and State of Connecticut, Labor Department, University of Connecticut [sic].

(b) "Counting the Poor: Another Look at the Poverty Profile." Social Security Bulletin 28(1): 3–29 (January). [Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 17–43; also reprinted in Social Security Bulletin 51(10): 25–51 (October). An excerpt of this article appeared as Orshansky 1965(c). This article should be distinguished from the similarly titled articles (Orshansky 1967(a) and Orshansky 1969(a)).]

(c) "The Identification of the Poor," Monthly Labor Review 88(3): 300–309 (March). [This article is an excerpt from Orshansky 1965(b).]

(d) "Measuring Poverty." In The Social Welfare Forum, 1965. Official Proceedings, 92nd Annual Forum, National Conference on Social Welfare, Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 23–25, 1965. New York: Columbia University Press, 211–223. [This paper was originally presented under the title "The Children of the Poor: New Dimensions."]

(e) "The Roster of Poverty." Monthly Labor Review 88(8): 951–956 (August). [This article is an excerpt from Orshansky 1965(f).]

(f) "Who's Who Among the Poor: A Demographic View of Poverty." Social Security Bulletin 28(7): 3–32 (July). [Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 45–74; An excerpt of this article appeared as Orshansky 1965(e)].

1966

(a) "More About the Poor in 1964." Social Security Bulletin 29(5): 3–38 (May). [Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 94–129.]

(b) "Poor Means for Good Ends." Book review of the New Careers for the Poor: The Nonprofessional in Human Service, by Arthur Pearl and Frank Riessman. Monthly Labor Review 89(2): 199.

(c) "Recounting the Poor—A Five-Year Review." Social Security Bulletin 29(4): 20–37 (April) [Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 76–93.]

(d) "Who Are the Poor?" In Sixth Biennial Workshop on Public Welfare Research and Statistics: Proceedings—July 18–22, 1966, 89–98. [This is a different paper from the identically titled "Who Are the Poor?" (Orshansky 1968(f)); there is very little overlap in content between the two papers.]

(e) "The Poor in City and Suburb, 1964." Social Security Bulletin 29(12): 22–37 (December). [Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 130–145.]

1967

(a) "Counting the Poor: Before and After Federal Income-Support Programs." In Old Age Income Assurance: A Compendium of Papers on Problems and Policy Issues in the Public and Private Pension System Submitted to the Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy of the Joint Economic Committee—Part II: The Aged Population and Retirement Income Programs. Joint Committee Print, 90th Congress, 1st session, 177–231. (Reprinted [with the accidental omission of p. 227 of the original] in Orshansky 1977, 176–229. [This article should be distinguished from the similarly titled articles (Orshansky 1965(b) and (Orshansky 1969(a)).]

(b) "Poverty Statistics—What They Say and What They Don't Say" (Paper presented at a conference of the Washington Chapters of the American Statistical Association and the American Marketing Association on "Purposes and Uses of Federal Statistics.") In The Coordination and Integration of Government Statistical Programs: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Economic Statistics of the Joint Economic Committee, 90th Congress, 1st session, May 17, 18, June 7, 8, 1967, 160–170.

(c) [speech to the [First] Conference on Women in the War on Poverty]. In Conference Proceedings: Women in the War on Poverty—May 8, 1967, Government Printing Office, 9–15.

[unattributed]
(d) "The Poor in 1965 and Trends, 1959–1965." Research and Statistics Note No. 5. Washington, DC: Social Security Administration, Office of Research and Statistics. (Reprinted in The Coordination and Integration of Government Statistical Programs: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Economic Statistics of the Joint Economic Committee, 90th Congress, 1st session, May 17, 18, June 7, 8, 1967, 170–177.

(e) "Who Was Poor in 1966." Research and Statistics Note No. 23. Washington, DC: Social Security Administration, Office of Research and Statistics. [This note was reprinted as Orshansky 1968(g), in two chapters. Essentially all of the material in this note was included in Orshansky 1968(e), along with some new material.]

1968

(a) "Demography and Ecology of Poverty." In Proceedings of a Conference on Research on Poverty (submitted to The Center for the Study of Social Problems, National Institute of Mental Health, under provisions of a grant from NIMH). Washington, DC: Bureau of Social Science Research, Inc, 1–29.

(b) "Living in Retirement: A Moderate Standard for an Elderly City Couple." Social Security Bulletin 31(10): 3–17 (October).

(c) "The Poverty Roster: A Head and Heart Count." In Sources: A Blue Cross Report on the Health Problems of the Poor, Richard M. Ralston ed., 4–19. Chicago: Blue Cross Association. [This article is a reprint (without tables or footnotes) of Orshansky 1968e.]

(d) "Progressing Against Poverty." Research and Statistics Note No. 24. Washington, DC: Social Security Administration, Office of Research and Statistics.

(e) "The Shape of Poverty in 1966." Social Security Bulletin 31(3): 3–32. (Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 146–175 [This article included essentially all of the material from Orshansky 1967e, along with some new material. This article was reprinted (without tables or footnotes) as Orshansky 1968c.]

(f) "Who Are the Poor?" In Round Table Reader/1967, Malvin Morton ed., 28–39. Chicago, IL: American Public Welfare Association. [This is a different paper from the identically titled "Who Are the Poor?" (Orshansky 1966d); there is very little overlap in content between the two papers.]

(g) "Who Was Poor in 1966?" and "Benefits and Costs of Children's Allowances." In Children's Allowances and the Economic Welfare of Children: The Report of a Conference. Eveline M. Burns ed., New York, Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, Inc, 19–53; 178–182; 54–57. [These chapters reprinted the material in Orshansky 1967(e).]

1969

(a) "Counting the Poor." (Paper prepared for the 1969 Social Security Administration Advisory Council). In Student Financial Assistance (Theory and Practice of Need Analysis): Hearings Before the Special Subcommittee on Education of the Committee on Education and Labor—Part 1: Theory and Practice of Need Analysis, 93rd Congress, 1st session, October 15 and November 15, 1973, 60–65. [This paper should be distinguished from the similarly titled articles (Orshansky 1965(b) and Orshansky 1967(a)).]

(b) "How Poverty is Measured" (Perspectives on poverty 2). Monthly Labor Review 92(2): 37–41. [Reprinted in Orshansky 1977, 244–248.]

(c) "Item 5. [Letter to Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr., from] Mollie Orshansky…" (April 28, 1969), pp. 284–291, and "Statement…", pp. 136–140. In Economics of Aging: Toward a Full Share in Abundance: Hearings Before the Special Committee on Aging—Part 1—Survey Hearing, 91st Congress, 1st session, April 29–30, 1969.

1970

"Memorandum for Dr. Daniel P. Moynihan—Subject: History of the Poverty Line," July 1, 1970. (Published in Orshansky 1977, 232–237).

1971

"Statement…", pp. 69–75 and 79–80 in U.S. Senate, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Economic Opportunity Amendments of 1971: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower, and Poverty of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare on S. 1290…S. 397…S. 1305…[and] S. 2007—Part 1, 92nd Congress, 1st session, March 23, 24, and 25, 1971 [This testimony by Orshansky was reprinted with minor omissions as Orshansky 1973a.]

1973

(a) "Questions About Measuring Poverty." Forensic Quarterly (Social Welfare: The Forty-Seventh Discussion and Debate Source Book—1973–1974) 47(3): 283–291. [This article reprinted (with minor omissions) the testimony in Orshansky 1971.]

(b) "Statement…," pp. 2243–2247. In Education Legislation, 1973: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Education of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare on S. 1539…and Related Bills—Part 6, 93rd Congress, 1st session, September 14, October 4, 9, and 10.

(c) "Statement…," pp. 60, 65–69, 73, and 75. In Student Financial Assistance (Theory and Practice of Need Analysis): Hearings Before the Special Subcommittee on Education of the Committee on Education and Labor—Part 1: Theory and Practice of Need Analysis, 93rd Congress, 1st session, October 15 and November 15. [This hearing document also included Orshansky 1969(a), 60–65.]

1974

"Federal Welfare Reform and the Economic Status of the Aged Poor." In The Supplemental Security Income Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled. [ORS] Staff Paper No. 17. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Publication No. (SSA) 75-11851). Washington, DC: Social Security Administration, Office of Research and Statistics.

1975

with Judith S. Bretz
"Born to Be Poor: Place of Birth and Number of Siblings as Factors in Adult Poverty." In American Statistical Association: Proceedings of the Social Statistics Section, 1975. Washington, DC: American Statistical Association, 103–118. [This paper was adapted as Orshansky and Bretz 1976.]

1976

with Judith S. Bretz
"Born To Be Poor: Birthplace and Number of Brothers and Sisters As Factors in Adult Poverty." Social Security Bulletin 39(1): 21–37 (January). [This article was adapted from Orshansky and Bretz 1975.]

1977

as editor
Documentation of Background Information and Rationale for Current Poverty Matrix (Technical Paper I of The Measure of Poverty), Washington, DC: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Available at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/povmeas/pdf/tp_i.pdf. [This technical paper reprinted a number of documents including Orshansky 1963, 1965(b), 1965(f), 1966(c), 1966(a), 1966(e), 1967(a), 1968(e), 1969(b), and 1970. See the enhanced table of contents at <http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/povmeas/contents76gf.pdf>.]

1978

with Harold Watts, Bradley R. Schiller, and John J. Korbel
"Measuring Poverty: A Debate." Public Welfare 36(2): 46–55 (Spring) (see also pp. 4 and 9). Orshansky's contribution reprinted in abridged form in Public Welfare 51(1): 27–28 (Winter 1993).

"Statement…", pp. 56–61, and "Prepared Statement…", pp. 196–211. In Poverty Among America's Aged: Hearing Before the Select Committee on Aging (Committee Publication 95-154), 95th Congress, 2nd session, August 9, 1978.

1979

(a) "Comments…" [on "Income Distribution, the Elderly, and Public Policy," by Jennifer L. Warlick], pp. 26–29, and [discussion], p. 30. In Work, Income, and Retirement of the Aged: Report of a Workshop (Technical Analysis Paper No. 18), Thomas A. Gustafson ed. Washington, DC: Office of Income Security Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

with Carol Fendler
(b) "Improving the Poverty Definition." In Statistical Uses of Administrative Records with Emphasis on Mortality and Disability Research: Selected papers given at the 1979 Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association in Washington, DC. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, Office of Research and Statistics, 1–8. [A slightly shorter version of this paper was published as Fendler and Orshansky 1979(c).]

with Carol Fendler
(c) "Improving the Poverty Definition." In American Statistical Association: 1979 Proceedings of the Social Statistics Section. Washington, DC: American Statistical Association, 640–645. [This is a slightly shorter version of Fendler and Orshansky 1979(b).]

1981

Letter to Timothy M. Smeeding [commenting on his plans for the technical paper on "Alternative Methods for Valuing In-Kind Transfer Benefits: Their Impact on Poverty and Income Status"], June 15, 1981. (Published [without the one-page bibliographic attachment] on pp. 84–87). In Census Bureau Activities on Valuation of Noncash Benefits: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Census and Population of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service (Serial No. 99-38), 99th Congress, 1st session, October 31 and November 20, 1985.

1984

"Statement…," pp. 6–18. In Census and Designation of Poverty and Income: Joint Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Census and Population of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service and the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on Ways and Means (Post Office and Civil Service Committee Serial No. 98-28, Ways and Means Committee Serial No. 98-87), 98th Congress, 2nd session, May 15, 1984.

1986

"Statement…," pp. 116–124, and "[Responses for the Record to Written] Questions for Mollie Orshansky," pp. 128–132. In Census Bureau Measurement of Noncash Benefits: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Census and Population of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service (Serial No. 99-51), 99th Congress, 2nd session, January 30 and April 17, 1986.

1988

"Commentary: The Poverty Measure." Social Security Bulletin 51(10): 22–24 (October). [This commentary introduced the 1988 reprinting of Orshansky 1965b.]

1990

"Statement…," pp. 3–6, [discussion], pp. 13–14 and 18–20, and "Answer to Representative [Tony P.] Hall," pp. 34–37. In Redrawing the Poverty Line: Implications for Fighting Hunger and Poverty in America—Hearing Before the Select Committee on Hunger (Serial No. 101-24), 101st Congress, 2nd session, October 4, 1990.