Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Shawn Gillen


This research examines why poverty has been persistent in all regimes that have tried to use public policy to eradicate it with no success. This research begins to examine the economic, fiscal, and current Federal Reserve monetary policy for an understanding of why poverty persists. The purpose of this experimental, cross-sectional design is to test the relationship between poverty level, population size, gross domestic product and the Gini coefficient. The most important outcome of the research is to understand if poverty is an unintended consequence of economic activity and not individual circumstance. In the dissertation, 5 U.S. states are examined in the year 2014. The data were collected using the U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Surveys. Using multiple regression, this research aimed to establish the minimum amount of expected poverty in the sample's population and gross domestic product (GDP). Using the results and further research, a predictive model could be created to understand how poverty, population, and GDP intersect to create stable economies. The key results yielded the Gini coefficient has no effect in predicting expected poverty levels. As determined by the model, Arizona would have a poverty decrease of 17.1% and Illinois' poverty would decrease by 7.7%. Georgia and Washington would increase by 9.4% and 21.8%, respectively. New York's levels would remain the same. One of the recommendations is continuing research to understand other quantitative factors that reduce or increase poverty numbers. These results help promote social change by possibly informing monetary policymakers more targeted solutions to mitigating poverty levels.