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Reducing Lone-Parent Poverty: A Canadian Success Story

Author

Listed:
  • John Richards

    (Simon Fraser University)

Abstract

From 1996 to 2007, the poverty rate among the two million Canadians living in lone-parent families fell by more than half – from nearly 50 percent to just over 20 percent – as measured by the low-income cutoff (LICO) rate. The proximate cause is a dramatic increase in employment and hence average market income among these families. There are several underlying factors at work. While lone-parent poverty has fallen dramatically, Canada’s overall poverty reduction since mid-1990s has been similar to other OECD countries. And, as measured by the low-income measure (LIM – the percentage living below half of the median income), Canada’s poverty rate in mid-2000s was above that of the typical OECD country. The study includes a methodological appendix on defining poverty thresholds. In addition to the LICO, the Canadian government maintains two other measures: the LIM and the market basket measure (MBM). The study recommends replacing the LICO by the LIM as the standard poverty measure.

Suggested Citation

  • John Richards, 2010. "Reducing Lone-Parent Poverty: A Canadian Success Story," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 305, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:305
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    File URL: https://www.cdhowe.org/reducing-lone-parent-poverty-canadian-success-story
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William B.P. Robson, 2010. "Cutting Through Pension Complexity: Easy Steps Forward for the 2010 Federal Budget," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 126, February.
    2. William B.P. Robson & Colin Busby, 2010. "Freeing up Food: The Ongoing Cost, and Potential Reform, of Supply Management," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 128, April.
    3. David Johnson, 2007. "School Grades: Identifying Alberta’s Best Public Schools," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 104, September.
    4. Robert Knox, 2010. "Who Can Work Where: Reducing Barriers to Labour Mobility in Canada," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 131, June.
    5. Michael Parkin, 2010. "How Soon? How Fast? Interest Rates and Other Monetary Policy Decisions in 2010," e-briefs 92, C.D. Howe Institute.
    6. Pierre Siklos, 2010. "Taking Monetary Aggregates Seriously," e-briefs 94, C.D. Howe Institute.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lawrence L. Herman, 2010. "Trend Spotting: NAFTA Disputes After Fifteen Years," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 133, July.
    2. Bob Baldwin & Brian FitzGerald, 2010. "Seeking Certainty in Uncertain Times: A Review of Recent Government-Sponsored Studies on the Regulation of Canadian Pension Plans," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 310, September.
    3. Clyde Goodlet, 2010. "Too Big to Fail: A Misguided Policy in Times of Financial Turmoil," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 311, October.
    4. Jan Carr, 2010. "Power Sharing: Developing Inter-Provincial Electricity Trade," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 306, July.
    5. Philippe Bergevin & David Laidler, 2010. "Putting Money Back into Monetary Policy: A Monetary Anchor for Price and Financial Stability," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 312, October.
    6. Dave Sawyer & Carolyn Fischer, 2010. "Better Together? The Implications of Linking Canada-US Greenhouse Gas Policies," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 307, August.
    7. Benjamin Dachis, 2010. "Picking up Savings: The Benefits of Competition in Municipal Waste Services," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 308, September.
    8. Stuart Landon & Constance Smith, 2010. "Energy Prices and Alberta Government Revenue Volatility," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 313, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Policy; poverty; low-income cutoff (LICO); welfare; low-income measure (LIM);

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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