This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of how the US government and European countries define and measure poverty. US and European researchers and policy makers face similar issues as they seek to improve their measurement of income, poverty, and material well-being. To learn more about European efforts, the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and the OECD convened more than 100 scholars and government officials from twenty-four countries in Paris, France, in March 2009. At the conference, eighteen papers were presented in five broad topics together with commentaries by US scholars on each area. A selection of twelve of those eighteen original papers that focus more narrowly on poverty measurement along with the American commentaries are contained in this volume. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.
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