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Can More People in the Household Save Extra Money?

New AAEA member research released in AJAE

The poverty line for two-person childless households should be increased to $19,938, 15.6% higher than the $17,240 currently set by the US Census Bureau. Researchers compare income levels across families with different household compositions and sizes.

In the new article Intrahousehold Economies of Scale with Application to Food Assistance and Work Incentive Programs” featured in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Jeffrey Dorfman from the University of Georgia, and Wenying Li from Auburn University estimate the savings.

Dorfman says, “A female (male) living alone would need approximately 65% (63%) of a two-person household's income to reach the same living standard attained as a member of a two-person household. This is useful in the details of lots of social safety net programs, for setting eligibility standards or benefit amounts. For example, our research suggests that the 2020 poverty line for two-person childless households should be increased to $19,938, 15.6% higher than the $17,240 set by the US Census Bureau.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190