Economic Definition of needs standard. Defined.
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Term needs standard Definition: One of three basic income distribution standards (the other two are contributive standard and equality standard). The needs standard distributes income based on how many goods and services people require. A manual laborer, for example, who exerts more physical effort, would receive more income to buy more food that an office worker who burns fewer calories during the day. The U.S. welfare system primarily employs this needs standard when determining the poverty line and subsequent welfare payments.