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Estimating Poverty Persistence in Britain

  • Francesco Devicienti

This paper uses longitudinal data from the BHPS, waves 1-8, to document low-income dynamics and persistence for individuals living in Britain in the 1990s. Poverty exit and re-entry rates are estimated and the resulting distribution of time spent in poverty is calculated, both in single and in multiple-spells frameworks. Poverty persistence predictions are also produced for various subgroups of the populations. To do this, I estimate a multiple-spell model of transitions in and out of poverty, controlling for observed and correlated unobserved individual heterogeneity and for a potential initial condition problem. Components-of-variance models are also used to predict the number of years in poverty for the targeted groups. The two sets of predictions are then compared.

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Paper provided by LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies in its series LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series with number 1.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:1
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  1. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper, 1998. "An economic model of household income dynamics, with an application to poverty dynamics among American women," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6525, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Francesco Devicienti, 2002. "Poverty persistence in Britain: A multivariate analysis using the BHPS, 1991–1997," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 307-340, December.
  3. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
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  5. Böheim, René & Taylor, Mark P., 2000. "Unemployment duration and exit states in Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-01, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  6. Ann Huff Stevens, 1999. "Climbing out of Poverty, Falling Back in: Measuring the Persistence of Poverty Over Multiple Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 557-588.
  7. Fertig, Michael & Tamm, Marcus, 2007. "Always Poor or Never Poor and Nothing in Between? Duration of Child Poverty in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 56, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  8. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2002. "Modelling low income transitions," ISER Working Paper Series 2002-08, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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  11. Biewen, Martin, 2002. "The Covariance Structure of East and West German Incomes and its Implications for the Persistence of Poverty and Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 459, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Olga Canto, 2002. "Climbing out of poverty, falling back in: low income stability in Spain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(15), pages 1903-1916.
  13. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  14. Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2004. "Poverty Persistence in Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 4539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Joseph G. Altonji & Lewis M. Segal, 1994. "Small sample bias in GMM estimation of covariance structures," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  17. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jemkins, 2002. "Who Stays Poor? Who Becomes Poor? Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C60-C67, March.
  18. Francesco Devicienti, 2001. "Estimating Poverty Persistence in Britain," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 1, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  19. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2008. "The Dynamics of Social Assistance Receipt: Measurement and Modelling Issues, with an Application to Britain," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 828, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  20. Cappellari, Lorenzo, 2000. "The Covariance Structure of Italian Male Wages," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(6), pages 659-84, December.
  21. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
  22. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  23. Lee A. Lillard & Robert J. Willis, 1976. "Dynamic Aspects of Earnings Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Dickens, Richard, 2000. "The Evolution of Individual Male Earnings in Great Britain: 1975-95," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 27-49, January.
  25. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
  26. Meghir, Costas & Whitehouse, Edward, 1997. "Labour market transitions and retirement of men in the UK," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 327-354, August.
  27. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  28. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-75, April.
  29. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  30. Ondrich, Jan & Rhody, Stephen E., 1999. "Multiple spells in the Prentice-Gloeckler-Meyer likelihood with unobserved heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 139-144, May.
  31. Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
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