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Are the Low Income Self-employed Poor?

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  • Bruce Bradbury

Abstract

Poverty measurement in Australia has typically excluded the self-employed because of concerns about a weak relationship between their measured incomes and their living standards. At the same time, however, families containing self-employed individuals receive substantial income support. Is this support well targeted? This paper compares the living standards of low-income self-employed families with low-income employee families using data from the ABS 1993-94 Household Expenditure Survey. The use of expenditure data for the measurement of living standards poses particular methodological problems, for which some new solutions are proposed. The provisional conclusions of the paper are that: average incomes are a poor indicator of the average living standards of the self-employed; poverty is greater among self-employed families; but, because of the weak association between income and expenditure for the self-employed, the average living standards of low-income self-employed are higher than employee families.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre in its series Discussion Papers with number 0073.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Dec 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:sprcdp:0073

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Cited by:
  1. Andersson Joona, Pernilla & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2004. "Why Do Self-Employed Immigrants in Denmark and Sweden Have Such Low Incomes?," IZA Discussion Papers 1280, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman, 1999. "Poverty and Inequality in Ireland: A Comparison using Measures of Income and Consumption," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n860399, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  3. Christoph Kneiding & Alexander S. Kritikos, 2007. "Funding Self-Employment - The Role of Consumer Credit," Working Papers 0007, Gesellschaft für Arbeitsmarktaktivierung (GfA).

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