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Child Poverty in Britain and the United States

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  • Richard Dickens
  • David T Ellwood

Abstract

Child poverty rose sharply in Britain and the US in the period preceding the Blair and Clinton governments, so that over a third of children were in poverty in both countries. Demographic change, falls in work and increasing wage inequality all contributed to this rise in Britain, with benefit changes having an offsetting effect. In the US, demographic and wages changes were the drivers. Both administrations acted with a range of welfare reforms aimed at increasing work incentives and, in Britain benefits for those not working were also raised. Child poverty fell under the Blair and Clinton governments; with work and benefit changes explaining most of the fall in Britain and work and demographic change the US fall. Copyright 2003 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Dickens & David T Ellwood, 2003. "Child Poverty in Britain and the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages 219-239, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:488:p:f219-f239
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jane Waldfogel, 2007. "Welfare Reforms and Child Well-Being in the US and UK," CASE Papers case126, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. Nolen, Patrick, 2013. "Unemployment and household values: Distribution sensitive measures of unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 354-362.
    3. Olivier Bargain & Olivier Donni, 2012. "Targeting and child poverty," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(4), pages 783-808, October.
    4. Sri Ranjith & Anil Rupasingha, 2012. "Social and Cultural Determinants of Child Poverty in the United States," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 119-142.
    5. Dickens & David T. Ellwood, 2004. "Whither Poverty in Great Britain and the United States? The Determinants of Changing Poverty and Whether Work Will Work," NBER Chapters,in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 313-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Olivier Bargain & Olivier Donni, 2007. "A Theory of Child Targeting," Working Papers 200710, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    7. Laura Blow & Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2012. "Who Benefits From Child Benefit?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 153-170, January.
    8. Kossi Agbeviade Djoke & Ayawo Djadou & Amélé d'Almeida & Rachidatou Ruffino, 2009. "Profil de la pauvreté infantile dans quatre pays de l'UEMOA: une analyse comparative basée sur l'approche multidimensionnelle de la pauvreté," Working Papers PMMA 2009-01, PEP-PMMA.
    9. Paul Gregg & Jane Waldfogel & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2005. "Expenditure Patterns Post-Welfare Reform in the UK: Are Low-Income Families Starting to Catch Up?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/119, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    10. Ive Marx & Brian Nolan & Javier Olivera, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," Working Papers 1403, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    11. Olivier Bargain, 2009. "The distributional effects of tax-benefit policies under New Labour : a Shapley decomposition," Working Papers 200907, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    12. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
    13. Stuart Adam & Mike Brewer & Andrew Shephard, 2006. "Financial work incentives in Britain: comparisons over time and between family types," IFS Working Papers W06/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Gregg, Paul & Waldfogel, Jane & Washbrook, Elizabeth, 2006. "Family expenditures post-welfare reform in the UK: Are low-income families starting to catch up?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 721-746, December.

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