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Welfare States, Social Structure and the Dynamics of Poverty Rates. A comparative study of 16 countries, 1980-2000

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  • Bäckman, Olof

    ()
    (Institute for Futures Studies)

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    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is twofold. The primary purpose is to try and explain both the temporal and the spatial variation of poverty rates in terms of unemployment insurance indicators and structural/sociodemographic factors. Secondly, the paper aims to test the 'convergence hypothesis' of the poverty rate, i.e. whether or not poverty rates in modern welfare states have converged in recent decades. The analyses tentatively suggest that structural change in terms of the unemployment rate, the proportion of single-earner households, the female labour-force participation rate, and the proportion of families with children primarily explains the temporal variation in poverty rates. The unemployment insurance factors primarily explain the spatial variation, i.e. variation between countries. In part, however, the temporal variation is explained but the cuts in net replacements in unemployment insurance. This factor alone explains a larger share of the overall variance than all the structural factors put together. Where the convergence hypothesis is concerned, a random-effects model is proposed as a statistical tool for testing convergence (and disperson). The results of this analysis suggest that for the 16 countries and the time frame under review the convergence hypothesis must be rejected, an outcome that is in line with some other analyses presented recently.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for Futures Studies in its series Arbetsrapport with number 2005:7.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2005_007

    Note: ISSN 1652-120X ISBN 91-89655-65-6
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    Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
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    Keywords: Welfare States; Social Structure; Poverty Rates;

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    1. Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2002. "Pathways to Retirement and Retirement Incentives in Sweden," Arbetsrapport 2002:9, Institute for Futures Studies.
    2. Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003. "Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2003:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "Interpreting Europe and US labor markets differences : the specificity of human capital investments," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8904, Sciences Po.
    4. Sommestad, Lena, 2001. "Health and Wealth: The Contribution of Welfare State Policies to Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2001:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
    5. Andersson, Jenny, 2002. "Alva´s Futures Ideas in the construction of Swedish Futures Studies," Arbetsrapport 2002:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
    6. Ranehill, Eva, 2002. "Social snedrekrytering till högre studier - En litteraturöversikt," Arbetsrapport 2002:10, Institute for Futures Studies.
    7. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
    8. Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter, 2001. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," Arbetsrapport 2001:1, Institute for Futures Studies.
    9. Lundqvist, Torbjörn, 2002. "Arbetskraft och konkurrensbegränsning; aktörsperspektiv på den svenska modellen och framtiden," Arbetsrapport 2002:1, Institute for Futures Studies.
    10. Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas, 2004. "Forecasting global growth by age structure projections," Arbetsrapport 2004:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
    11. Korpi, Walter, 2003. "Welfare State Regress in Western Europe: Politics, Institutions, Globalization and Europeanization," Working Paper Series 5/2003, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    12. Malmberg, Bo & Sommestad, Lena, 2000. "Tunga trender i den globala utvecklingen," Arbetsrapport 2000:2, Institute for Futures Studies.
    13. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
    14. Jantti, Markus & Danziger, Sheldon, 2000. "Income poverty in advanced countries," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 309-378 Elsevier.
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