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Changing Fortunes: Income Mobility and Poverty Dynamics in Britain

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Author Info

  • Jenkins, Stephen P.

    (Professor of Economic and Social Policy, London School of Economics)

Abstract

Most information about the incomes of people in Britain today, such as provided by official statistics, tells us how much inequality there is or how many poor people there are in a given year and compares those numbers with the corresponding statistics from the previous year. Missing from snapshot pictures like these is information about whether the people who were poor one year are the same people who are poor the following year; and the circumstances of those with middle-income or top-income origins are not tracked over time. This book fills in the missing information. The author likens Britain's income distribution to a multi-story apartment building with the numbers of residents on the different floors corresponding to the concentration of people at different income levels in any particular year. The poorest are in the basement, the richest are in the penthouse, and the majority somewhere in between. This book assesses how much movement there is between floors, the frequency of moves, whether the distance travelled has been changing over the last two decades, and whether basement dwellers ever reach the penthouse. Using the British Household Panel Survey, which has followed and interviewed the same people annually since 1991, it documents the patterns of income mobility and poverty dynamics in Britain, shows how they have changed over the last two decades, and explores the reasons why. It draws attention to the relationships between changes in income and changes in other aspects of people's lives - not only in their jobs, earnings, benefits, and credits, but also in the households within which they live (people marry and divorce; children are born). Trends over time are also related to changes in Britain's labour market and the reforms to the tax-benefit system introduced by the Labour government in the late-1990s.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780199226436 and published in 2011.

ISBN: 9780199226436
Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199226436.do
Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199226436

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Finn, Arden & Leibbrandt, Murray, 2013. "Mobility and Inequality in the First Three Waves of NIDS," SALDRU Working Papers 120, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  2. Jäntti, Markus & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2013. "Income Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 7730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Van Kerm, Philippe, 2011. "Trends in individual income growth: measurement methods and British evidence," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Rod Hick, 2012. "On 'Consistent' Poverty," CASE Papers /167, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  5. Finn, Arden & Leibbrandt, Murray, 2013. "The dynamics of poverty in the first three waves of NIDS," SALDRU Working Papers 119, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  6. Sara Ayllón, 2013. "Understanding poverty persistence in Spain," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 201-233, June.
  7. Bertrand Maître & Helen Russell & Christopher T Whelan, 2014. "Economic stress and the great recession in Ireland: polarization, individualization or ‘middle class squeeze’?," Working Papers 201407, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. Nuno Alves & Carlos Martins, 2012. "Mobility and income inequality in the European Union and in Portugal," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  9. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, 2012. "The Vulnerable Are Not (Necessarily) the Poor," Working Papers 40, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  10. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Van Kerm, Philippe, 2011. "Patterns of persistent poverty: evidence from EU-SILC," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-30, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  11. Bayer, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2012. "Happiness and the Persistence of Income Shocks," IZA Discussion Papers 6771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2013. "Earnings and labour market volatility in Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-10, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  13. Inchauste, Gabriela & Olivieri, Sergio & Saavedra, Jaime & Winkler, Hernan, 2012. "What is behind the decline in poverty since 2000 ? evidence from Bangladesh, Peru and Thailand," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6199, The World Bank.
  14. Rod Hick, 2012. "On ‘consistent’ poverty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51285, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Veronica Polin & Michele Raitano, 2012. "Poverty Dynamics in Clusters of European Union Countries: Related Events and Main Determinants," Working Papers 10/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  16. repec:cep:sticas:case167 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Jenderny, Katharina, 2013. "Mobility of top incomes in Germany," Discussion Papers 2013/7, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

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