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

Author

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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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    File URL: http://pascal.iseg.utl.pt/~depeco/wp/wp242016.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Callan, Tim & Leventi, Chrysa & Levy, Horacio & Matsaganis, Manos & Paulus, Alari & Sutherland, Holly, 2011. "The distributional effects of austerity measures: a comparison of six EU countries," EUROMOD Working Papers EM6/11, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Kees Goudswaard & Olaf van Vliet & Jim Been & Koen Caminada, 2012. "Pensions and Income Inequality in Old Age," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(4), pages 21-26, December.
    3. Guio, Anne-Catherine & Fusco, Alessio & Marlier, Eric, 2009. "A European Union Approach to Material Deprivation using EU-SILC and Eurobarometer data," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-19, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    4. Lindquist, Gabriella Sjögren & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2012. "Income Distribution among those of 65 Years and Older in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 6745, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Brown, R. L. & Prus, S. G., 2006. "Income Inequality over the Later-Life Course: a Comparative Analysis of Seven OECD Countries," Annals of Actuarial Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 307-317, September.
    6. Robert L. Brown & Steven G. Prus, 2006. "Income Inequality over the Later-Life Course: A Comparative Analysis of Seven OECD Countries," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 154, McMaster University.
    7. repec:ces:ifodic:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:19074538 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Paula Albuquerque & Manuela Arcanjo & Vítor Escária & Francisco Nunes & José Pereirinha, 2010. "Retirement and the Poverty of the Elderly: The Case of Portugal," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 19(3-4), pages 41-64, September.
    9. Aziz, Omar & Gemmell, Norman & Laws, Athene, 2013. "The Distribution of Income and Fiscal Incidence by Age and Gender: Some Evidence from New Zealand," Working Paper Series 2852, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
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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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