Proceedings of The International Conference on New Trends in Management, Business, and Economics
How have the subjective poverty lines and the perceived consequences of poverty changed during the pandemic in Minnesota?
Eszter Siposné Nándori
I examine how the subjective interpretation of poverty has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic downturn in St. Louis County, Minnesota, using comparative data from a data collection conducted before and during the pandemic. The data collection using cultural domain analysis asked information about the informants’ beliefs about poverty. I find that the importance of the main perceived consequences of poverty did not change significantly during the pandemic. In both Surveys, consequences related to material needs made up an important part of the items. A remarkable difference, however, is that the problem of perpetuated poverty is perceived to be more important during the pandemic. The subjective poverty lines did not change significantly during the pandemic either. The income level below which most of the people can be considered poor is between $ 14-15 per capita hourly net income on average. Three friends who are ready and able to help were enough to avoid poverty. Most of the large families are perceived to be poor when they bring up at least three children, while it was two children right before the pandemic. As for educational level, the poverty threshold was increased from 11th grade to high school graduate. It implies that if the individual did not graduate from high school, (s)he is more likely to become poor than before the pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19, interpretation of poverty, poverty threshold, St. Louis County, systematic data collection.