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COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON THE RELATIONSHIP OF PUBLIC FINANCE AND POVERTY Ross Gittell, University of New Hampshire ABSTRACT The mini-symposium in this issue of Public Finance and Man- agement provides an outlet for emerging research on poverty and public finance at a particularly relevant point in time. In the after- math of the 2008-10 recession rising poverty rates and prolonged durations of poverty will have significant financial impact on na- tional, state and local financial systems. The demand for publically funded social services will be increasing, while the ability of gov- ernments to raise revenues will be at risk. Governments around the globe will be forced to reconsider their poverty alleviation pro- grams and their financial systems. The two papers in this sympo- sium offer insight on the relationship between poverty and public finance and suggest public finance strategies for addressing pover- ty and improving living standards. 1. INTRODUCTION Why is studying poverty important and why is the persistence of poverty in some nations and geographic areas of concern? For nations, having significant num- bers of persons living in poverty represents a loss of human potential and economic productivity. For indi- viduals and households, living in poverty means being cut off from the larger society and economic opportuni- ty. To be poor in the global economy today, even more than in the past, is to be an economic outcast. Having large numbers living in poverty is not in- evitable. There is eviden
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