Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Vivian Lu

Second Advisor

Stephanie Szitanyi, Ph.D.


The experience of poverty and chances of upward mobility is drastically different in India and the United States. The following thesis contends that this is largely due to the current educational and welfare policies in place in these two nations. Education allows for a higher possibility of financial upward mobility by allowing students to learn skills that prepare them for higher-paying career paths. High-quality welfare gives recipients aid for their necessities while providing them time for growth to pursue financial independence. The following thesis investigates these policies and how accessible they make education and welfare to poor populations in India and the United States to question how intensely these factors impact the way poverty is experienced in each country. The paper finds that quality affordable education and welfare are hard to access for impoverished individuals in India but which is more accessible in the US; the United States government provides public education and healthcare with higher quality and quantities of resources that allow for better distribution. The thesis calls attention to the importance of better education and welfare policies in India to break the cycle of “low-wage, low-skill” jobs that have held impoverished communities captive for so many generations. Reform would allow the large youth population to be more highly-skilled and better prepared for careers that would build their chance of upward mobility and improve their overall quality of life.

Included in

Social Policy Commons