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Spatial location matters: area-level effects and micro-level effects of household poverty in the Texas Borderland and Lower Mississippi Delta: United States, 2006

Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University
Bruce Robertson, Texas A&M University
Carlos Siordia, Texas A&M University
Tim Slack, Louisiana State University
Kayla Fontenot, Louisiana State University

This paper uses microdata from the 2006 American Community Survey for families residing in the Texas Borderland and Mississippi Delta to examine the effects of spatial location on the odds of households being in poverty. We examine the micro-level and area-level effects of poverty among households located in the two regions. We estimate a series of multilevel regression models predicting the log odds of a household being in poverty. The log odds of a household being in poverty should best be explained by the characteristics of the household head, and the characteristics of the area, i.e., the Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA), in which the household is located. Our major contribution is the demonstration that areal characteristics have statistically significant effects on the likelihood of households being in poverty. Spatial location matters when it comes to predicting poverty of the households in the Delta and Borderland.

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Presented in Session 64: Spatial approaches to understanding inequality in health and poverty