Poverty and Social Policy: Perceptions Versus Reality

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Relieving poverty is one of the more important and complicated tasks in every society. Is the public aware of poverty-related data? Do people know who is considered poor? Public awareness about the issue of poverty is crucial for pushing policymakers to act. Using a survey-based experiment with a representative sample of 751 Israelis, we found significant gaps between perceptions and reality regarding several measures of poverty. In fact, in most of the poverty indicators, 80 percent of the public estimations were inaccurate. We found, however, that 60 percent of the people understand that the issue of poverty negatively affects the entire society. We showed that perceptions about poverty and the reasons for it affect people's views about the need for policy measures to reduce it.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalPoverty & Public Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • perceptions
  • policy
  • poverty

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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