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The End of Destitution

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Author Info

  • Gazeley, Ian

    ()
    (University of Sussex)

  • Newell, Andrew T.

    ()
    (University of Sussex)

Abstract

The paper presents a statistical generalisation, to working families in the whole of Britain, of Rowntree's finding that absolute poverty declined dramatically in York between 1899 and 1936. We use poverty lines devised by contemporary social investigators and two relatively newly-discovered data sets. We estimate an almost complete elimination of absolute poverty among working households for the whole of the Britain between 1904 and 1937. We offer a number of pieces of corroborative evidence that give support to our findings. We decompose the poverty reduction into the effects of two proximate causes, of roughly equal importance, the decline in family size and the rise of real wages. We conclude with some speculation about the deeper causes of the decline.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4295.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as' The end of destitution: evidence from urban British working households, 1904-37' in: Oxford Economic Papers, 2012, 64 (1), 80-102
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4295

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Related research

Keywords: Britain; living standards; real wage growth; demographic change; poverty;

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References

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  1. Sen, Amartya, 1979. " Issues in the Measurement of Poverty," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 285-307.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The state & inequality
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-08-04 13:04:43
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Cited by:
  1. Hatton, Timothy J. & Martin, Richard M., 2009. "Fertility Decline and the Heights of Children in Britain, 1886-1938," IZA Discussion Papers 4306, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andrew Newell & Ian Gazeley, 2012. "The declines in infant mortality and fertility: Evidence from British cities in demographic transition," Working Paper Series 4812, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

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