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Poverty and the Welfare State in Inter-war London

Author

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  • Bailey, Roy E
  • Hatton, Timothy J.

Abstract

In this paper we re-examine poverty among working class households in inter-war London using the newly computerized records from the New Survey of London Life and Labour (NSLLL), a survey of living standards in London undertaken in 1929–31. First, we examine how the use of different poverty lines affects the number of households found to be in poverty. We then analyse the effects of the inter-war social security system in relieving poverty. Finally, we estimate what difference it would have made to the extent and incidence of poverty if the post-Beveridge social security system had been in place during the inter-war period. Our main conclusions are that the inter-war social security system had played a greater role in averting poverty than it has sometimes been given credit for, even though substantial poverty remained. The post-Beveridge social security system, if applied in the inter-war period, would have reduced poverty still further, but would not have eliminated it.

Suggested Citation

  • Bailey, Roy E & Hatton, Timothy J., 1997. "Poverty and the Welfare State in Inter-war London," CEPR Discussion Papers 1686, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1686
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    Cited by:

    1. Timothy J. Hatton & Roy >. Bailey, 2000. "Seebohm Rowntree and the postwar poverty puzzle," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 53(3), pages 517-543, August.
    2. Celso Nunes, 2008. "The Economic Thought on Poverty Measurement: From the Nineteenth-Century to the Rediscovering Era," Working Papers 92, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Osamu Saito, 2015. "Growth and inequality in the great and little divergence debate: a Japanese perspective," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(2), pages 399-419, May.
    4. Jessica S. Bean, 2015. "‘To help keep the home going’: female labour supply in interwar London," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(2), pages 441-470, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Interwar Britain; Poverty; Social Security; Welfare State;

    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
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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