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Child poverty and family transfers in Southern Europe

  • Matsaganis, Manos
  • O'Donoghue, Cathal
  • Levy, Horacio
  • Coromaldi, Manuela
  • Mercader-Prats, M.
  • Rodrigues, Carlos Farinha
  • Toso, Stefano
  • Tsakloglou, Panos

The drive to reduce child poverty is of particular interest in southern Europe, where the subsidiary role of the State in matters of family policy has implied that programmes of public assistance to poor families with children are often meagre or not available at all. The paper examines the effect of family transfers (used broadly to include contributory family allowances, non-contributory child benefits and tax credits or allowances) on child poverty in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Using the European microsimulation model EUROMOD, the paper first assesses the distributional impact of existing family transfers and then explores the scope for policy reforms. By way of illustration, the effects of universal child benefit schemes similar to those in Britain, Denmark and Sweden are simulated. The paper concludes with a discussion of key findings and policy implications.

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Paper provided by EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series EUROMOD Working Papers with number EM2/04.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em2-04
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  1. Levy, Horacio, 2003. "Child-targeted tax-benefit reform in Spain in a European context: a microsimulation analysis using EUROMOD," EUROMOD Working Papers EM2/03, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  2. Smeeding, Timothy M, et al, 1993. "Poverty, Inequality, and Family Living Standards Impacts across Seven Nations: The Effect of Noncash Subsidies for Health, Education and Housing," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(3), pages 229-56, September.
  3. Virginia Hernanz & Franck Malherbet & Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Take-Up of Welfare Benefits in OECD Countries: A Review of the Evidence," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 17, OECD Publishing.
  4. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, July.
  5. Beckerman, W, 1979. "The Impact of Income Maintenance Payments on Poverty in Britain, 1975," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(354), pages 261-79, June.
  6. Mantovani, Daniela & Sutherland, Holly, 2003. "Social indicators and other income statistics using the EUROMOD baseline: a comparison with Eurostat and National Statistics," EUROMOD Working Papers EM1/03, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  7. Sutherland H, 2003. "The take-up of Income Support by pensioners: estimates from POLIMOD using the Family Resources Survey," Microsimulation Unit Research Notes MU/RN/42, Microsimulation Unit at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  8. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  9. Sheila B. Kamerman & Michelle Neuman & Jane Waldfogel & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2003. "Social Policies, Family Types and Child Outcomes in Selected OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 6, OECD Publishing.
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