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The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Sweden

  • Lindquist, Matthew J.

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics)

  • Sjögren Lindquist, Gabriella

    ()

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

The purpose of this paper is to study (empirically) the dynamics of child poverty in Sweden, the quintessential welfare state. We find that 1 out of every 5 children is disposable income poor at least once during his or her childhood, while only 2 percent of all children are chronically poor. We also document a strong life-cycle profile for child poverty. Just over 20 percent of all children are born into poverty. The average poverty rate then drops dramatically to about 7.5 percent among 1-year old children. After which, it declines (monotonically) to about 3.9 percent among 17-year olds. Children in Sweden are largely protected (economically) from a number of quite serious events, such as parental unemployment, sickness and death. Family dissolution and longterm unemployment, however, do push children into poverty. But for most of these children, poverty is only temporary. Single mothers, for example, are overrepresented among the poor, but not among the chronically poor. Children with immigrant parents are strongly overrepresented among the chronically poor; as are children whose parents have unusually low educations. We argue that information about the dynamics of child poverty may help policy makers to construct more salient policies for fighting child poverty.

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Paper provided by Swedish Institute for Social Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 4/2008.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2008_004
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  1. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2002. "Modelling Low Income Transitions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 288, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Carlson, Marcia & Danziger, Sheldon, 1999. "Cohabitation and the Measurement of Child Poverty," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(2), pages 179-91, June.
  3. Ann Huff Stevens, 1995. "Climbing Out of Poverty, Falling Back In: Measuring the Persistence of Poverty over Multiple Spells," NBER Working Papers 5390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Phipps, Shelley A & Burton, Peter S, 1998. "What's Mine Is Yours? The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 599-613, November.
  5. Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm, 2010. "Always Poor or Never Poor and Nothing in Between? Duration of Child Poverty in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 150-168, 05.
  6. Duncan, Greg J, et al, 1993. "Poverty Dynamics in Eight Countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(3), pages 215-34.
  7. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  8. Markus Jäntti & Sheldon Danziger, 1994. "Child Poverty in Sweden and the United States: The Effect of Social Transfers and Parental Labor Force Participation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 48-64, October.
  9. Markus Jantti & Bruce Bradbury, 1999. "Child Poverty across Industrialized Nations," Papers iopeps99/70, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
  10. Miles Corak & Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm, 2008. "A Portrait Of Child Poverty In Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 547-571, December.
  11. Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2004. "Poverty Persistence in Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 4539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Pablo Antolín & Thai-Thanh Dang & Howard Oxley, 1999. "Poverty Dynamics in Four OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 212, OECD Publishing.
  13. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Working Paper Series 2000:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  14. Galloway, Taryn Ann & Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Pedersen, Peder J. & Österberg, Torun, 2009. "Immigrant Child Poverty in Scandinavia: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 4232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1994. "The Dynamics of Poverty Spells: Updating Bane and Ellwood," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 34-37, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Ross Finnie & Arthur Sweetman, 2003. "Poverty dynamics: empirical evidence for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 291-325, May.
  18. Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2004. "Poverty Persistence in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1209, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  20. repec:zbw:rwidps:0056 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter, 2003. "Why Are Child Poverty Rates Higher in Britain than in Germany?: A Longitudinal Perspective," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
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