Childhood poverty in the US is estimated to cost $500 billion per year, or 4% of GDP.

The paper arrives at the estimate by first reviewing the statistical association between children growing up in poverty and their earnings, propensity to commit crime, and health later in life. Next, they review the cost estimates of crime and poor health on the economy. Finally, they aggregate these costs per poor child across the US, and obtain their estimates fot he costs of conditions associated with childhood poverty in the US.