This is a study of the effectiveness of income maintenance programs in alleviating poverty in a twenty-one county region of Appalachian Kentucky. This region was chosen in order to allow for the study of the effectiveness of these programs in areas that face chronic economic problems, including high rates of poverty and unemployment. The poverty rates for children and adults in the region were tested against both income maintenance expenditures per capita and unemployment rates in order to determine the effects of both income maintenance expenditures and employment on changes in poverty rates. This study determines that income maintenance programs have only minimal effects on the poverty rates in this region, but that decreases in the unemployment rate have substantial effects on poverty reduction. Therefore, this study concludes with several policy recommendations, including reconfiguration of current programs to include targeted jobs programs and a focus on education of the work force in regions like southeastern Kentucky.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2013


Frank O'Connor

Department/Professional Affiliation

Government and Economics

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars


Government and Economics

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