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Accounting for housing in poverty analysis

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mullan, Killian & Sutherland, Holly & Zantomio, Francesca, 2009. "Accounting for housing in poverty analysis," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-33, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2009-33
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2009-33.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    2. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494.
    3. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2003. "Imputed Rent and Income Inequality: A Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, West Germany and the U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 513-537, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M. & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2010. "Distributional Effects of Imputed Rents in Five European Countries," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 167-179.
    6. Redmond,Gerry & Sutherland,Holly & Wilson,Moira, 1998. "The Arithmetic of Tax and Social Security Reform," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632249.
    7. Tom Sefton, 2002. "Recent Changes in the Distribution of the Social Wage," CASE Papers case62, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brewer, Mike & O'Dea, Cormac, 2012. "Measuring living standards with income and consumption: evidence from the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Mike Brewer & Cormac O'Dea, 2012. "Measuring living standards with income and consumption: evidence from the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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