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The dynamics of child poverty in Sweden

  • Matthew Lindquist

    ()

  • Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist

The purpose of this paper is to study (empirically) the dynamics of child poverty in Sweden, the quintessential welfare state. We find that 1 out of every 5 children is disposable income poor at least once during his or her childhood, while only 2 percent of all children are chronically poor. We also document a strong life-cycle profile for child poverty. Just over 20 percent of all children are born into poverty. The average poverty rate then drops dramatically to about 7.5 percent among 1-year old children. After which, it declines (monotonically) to about 3.9 percent among 17-year olds. Children in Sweden are largely protected (economically) from a number of quite serious events, such as parental unemployment, sickness and death. Family dissolution and longterm unemployment, however, do push children into poverty. But for most of these children, poverty is only temporary. Single mothers, for example, are overrepresented among the poor, but not among the chronically poor. Children with immigrant parents are strongly overrepresented among the chronically poor; as are children whose parents have unusually low educations. We argue that information about the dynamics of child poverty may help policy makers to construct more salient policies for fighting child poverty.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-010-0310-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1423-1450

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:25:y:2012:i:4:p:1423-1450
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  1. Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm, 2007. "Always Poor or Never Poor and Nothing in Between? Duration of Child Poverty in Germany," Working Papers 59, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Pablo Antolín & Thai-Thanh Dang & Howard Oxley, 1999. "Poverty Dynamics in Four OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 212, OECD Publishing.
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  4. Markus Jäntti & Sheldon Danziger, 1994. "Child Poverty in Sweden and the United States: The Effect of Social Transfers and Parental Labor Force Participation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 48-64, October.
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  19. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
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  21. Galloway, Taryn Ann & Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Pedersen, Peder J. & Österberg, Torun, 2009. "Immigrant Child Poverty in Scandinavia: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 4232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Markus JΣntti & Sheldon Danziger, 1994. "Child poverty in Sweden and the United States: The effect of social transfers and parental labor force participation," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 48-64, October.
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