Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)
© 2017 Siddharth Mandava
Black Americans experience poverty at disproportionately high rates that are concerning both because of the perils of poverty as well as the belief that one’s race should not affect one’s opportunities in life. This paper extends the Capability Approach and argues that basic needs play an important economic role in providing people with a minimum level of opportunity that allows them to avoid poverty. Using MSA-level data on basic needs access and poverty rates, this paper finds that increasing rates of homeownership, high school graduation, and car access as well as decreasing rates of disability are all significantly associated with lower poverty rates for Black Americans. However, the empirical results also show that higher rates of high school graduation and car access for White populations are associated with higher rates of Black poverty, likely due to spillover effects in the labor market that crowd out Black workers.
Mandava, Siddharth, "Race, Poverty, and Basic Needs" (2017). CMC Senior Theses. 1554.