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Poverty among British children: chronic or transitory?


Author Info

  • Hill, Martha S.
  • Jenkins, Stephen P.


We investigate the nature of child poverty in Britain, adding a longitudinal perspective to cross-sectional pictures such as provided by previous research. Using panel data from the British Household Panel Survey, we analyse poverty over a six year interval (1991-6). We provide information about how many times over this period each child or adult in our sample was poor. In addition, and the principal focus of our research, we provide information about the extent of chronic and transitory poverty. For this analysis, we use information about current incomes and smoothed income (the six-year average of each individuals current income) relative to the poverty line. Whichever longitudinal poverty concept we use, we find that children, especially very young children, have high poverty risks compared to other groups in the population. Since peoples incomes typically vary from one year to the next, the observed (current income) poverty status for many people may not match with their chronic poverty status. Consequently policies aiming to reduce chronic poverty using means-tested benefits will be compromised if benefits are targeted using information about current incomes, as we demonstrate with a numerical illustration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 99-23.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:99-23

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
Fax: 44-1206-873151
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK

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Cited by:
  1. Suzie Ballantyne & Simon Chapple & David C. Maré & Jason Timmins, 2004. "Movements Into and Out of Child Poverty in New Zealand: Results from the Linked Income Supplement," HEW 0402001, EconWPA.
  2. Philippe Kerm, 2002. "How much low income turnover is there in Belgium?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 341-363, December.
  3. Jan Goebel, 2001. "Decomposing Permanent and Transitory Poverty," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 256, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Birgit Kuchler & Jan Goebel, 2003. "Smoothed Income Poverty in European Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 352, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Rolf Aaberge & Magne Mogstad, 2007. "On the Definition and Measurement of Chronic Poverty," Discussion Papers 497, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  6. Andriopoulou, Eirini & Tsakloglou, Panagiotis, 2011. "The determinants of poverty transitions in Europe and the role of duration dependence," MPRA Paper 30659, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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