Interactions Between Public and Private Poverty Relief Organizations
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe fight against poverty in the United States has existed since the inception of the country. Each successive generation has had their own unique view on the causes of poverty and the use of institutions to suppress it. This dissertation focuses on institutions helping the poor during the Progressive Era from 1900 to 1930. During this time period poverty relief fundamentally evolved from private charities providing the bulk of relief efforts to government agencies becoming the more important source of aid.Research into poverty relief for this time period has been deficient mostly from a lack of quality data. To further the literature, I have created a unique data set that provides information about both governmental and private relief efforts throughout the era. The first chapter of the dissertation focuses on quantitatively and qualitatively documenting the evolution of institutions from 1900 to 1930 in Massachusetts. Particular emphasis is on how the public's changing attitudes towards the poor altered the institutions used to provide relief. The second chapter studies the effects of government spending on private spending. I highlight how nonprofit managers' behavior would lead them to reduce spending when the government became the first avenue of support for the poor. The third chapter tests assumptions made in the second chapter about nonprofit managerial behavior. Unfortunately, data from 1900 to 1930 does not have the quality to answer these questions. Therefore, I use a similar data set from 1998 to 2003 to test how nonprofit managers adjust their spending, program service revenue, and savings to the business cycle.
Degree ProgramGraduate College