Mollie Orshansky: Inventor of the Poverty Line While working for the federal government, Mollie Orshansky came up with the government's official definition of the poverty line. Orshansky — an economist and statistician — died in December, her family announced this week. She was 91.
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Mollie Orshansky: Inventor of the Poverty Line

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Mollie Orshansky: Inventor of the Poverty Line

Mollie Orshansky: Inventor of the Poverty Line

Mollie Orshansky: Inventor of the Poverty Line

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9750949/9750950" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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While working for the federal government, Mollie Orshansky came up with the government's official definition of the poverty line. It was an achievement that Orshansky herself questioned, saying it was only useful as a starting point.

Orshansky — an economist and statistician — died in December, her family announced this week. She was 91 years old.

Alice O'Connor, an associate professor of history at the University of California-Santa Barbara, and author of the book Poverty Knowledge, speaks with Linda Wertheimer about Orshansky's legacy.