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Accounting for housing in poverty analysis

  • Mullan, Killian
  • Sutherland, Holly
  • Zantomio, Francesca

The treatment of housing in the definition of income used to measure poverty makes a big difference to who is counted as poor. Both the Before Housing Costs (BHC) and After Housing Costs (AHC) measures in current use in the UK pose problems. We compare BHC and AHC income with an alternative measure, overcoming their respective flaws by including in income the difference between the estimated value of housing consumed and housing costs, or net imputed rent. We investigate whether findings about poverty among children and pensioners, and the effectiveness of poverty-reducing policies, are affected by accounting for housing in this way.

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File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2009-33.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2009-33.

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Date of creation: 25 Nov 2009
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2009-33
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
Fax: 44-1206-873151
Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/Email:


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Order Information: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Web: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/ Email:


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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521632249 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  3. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M., 2003. "Imputed Rent and Income Inequality: A Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, West Germany and the U.S," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 513-537.
  4. Yates, Judith, 1994. "Imputed Rent and Income Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(1), pages 43-66, March.
  5. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494, March.
  6. Tom Sefton, 2002. "Recent Changes in the Distribution of the Social Wage," CASE Papers case62, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  7. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  8. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M. & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2010. "Distributional effects of imputed rents in five European countries," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 167-179, September.
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