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The Age-Old Problem Of Old Age Poverty In Portugal, 2006 – 14

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  • Carlos Farinha Rodrigues
  • Isabel Andrade

Abstract

The elderly poverty rate has decreased significantly in Portugal in recent years with rising elderly incomes and inequality and material deprivation levels converging to national levels. There is also growing evidence of heterogeneity amongst the elderly poor, with marked differences between the higher average incomes of the younger elderly generations versus the older ones. For example, the poverty rate of the elderly aged 75+ and living alone was equal to 27% in 2014, identifying this group as one of great economic and social vulnerability. These results are even more significant when the ageing of the population is taken into account: the ageing index rose from 45% in 1980 to over 90% in late 1990s and 141.3% in 2014, implying that the decreasing elderly poverty has an increasing effect on the national poverty levels. The aim of this paper in to investigate whether the austerity policies implemented in the post-2010 period had a strong impact on the monetary resources and what was their effect on the elderly using the most recent available EU-SILC data. It concludes that the decrease in the ‘official’ elderly poverty indicators in 2009-14 is connected with the drop in the poverty threshold caused by the decrease in the average median income of the whole population, and that if its effect is removed from the analysis through the usage of the anchored poverty line, the elderly poverty indicators actually increased, rather than decreased, during the economic crisis. Key Words : Social Policy, Income Distribution, Inequality, Poverty Alleviation, Demographic Economics, Portugal

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Farinha Rodrigues & Isabel Andrade, 2016. "The Age-Old Problem Of Old Age Poverty In Portugal, 2006 – 14," Working Papers Department of Economics 2016/24, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp242016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • 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
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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