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What Really Happened to Child Poverty in the UK under Labour's First Term?


  • Mike Brewer
  • Tom Clark
  • Alissa Goodman


Child poverty in Britain fell in Labour's first term, though by much less than micro-simulation exercises suggested. Nonetheless, the decline is statistically significant, and is greater if measured just in the last 6 months of 2000/1, rather than the whole year. The decline also proves robust to the choice of poverty line, although that which the Government has emphasised (60% of contemporary income) shows a somewhat bigger drop than any other than any other poverty line that is a fraction of median income. Among those who remain poor, the average shortfall in measured income below the poverty line has increased since 1996/7. Looking ahead, the methodology currently used in official poverty statistics may limit the potential to reduce child poverty significantly further. Copyright 2003 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Brewer & Tom Clark & Alissa Goodman, 2003. "What Really Happened to Child Poverty in the UK under Labour's First Term?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages 240-257, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:488:p:f240-f257

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    Cited by:

    1. John Hills & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "A “third way” in welfare reform? Evidence from the United Kingdom," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 765-788.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Alvaro Angeriz & Shanti Chakravarty, 2008. "A Decade of Changing Pattern of Poverty in Great Britain," Working Papers 19, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.

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