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Public Transfers to the Poor: Is Europe really more Generous than the United States?

  • M. Dolores Collado

    ()

    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Iñigo Iturbe Ormaetxe

    ()

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Fighting poverty is one of the main goals in the most societies. This is usually done by the transferring resources to the poor. There exists a widespread view that the European countries are more generous to the poor than the United States. We study whether this is really the case. Firts we review the evidence on aggregate spending and we do not find convincing support for that view. Secondly, we analyze microeconomic evidence from the Current Population Survey and the European Community Household Panel and find mixed results. In particular, when we use the concept of relative poverty, we find that average transfers per poor person in the United States are 54% higher than in the European Union. When we exclude the old from the sample, this difference reduces to 20%.

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File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2008-05.pdf
File Function: Fisrt version / Primera version, 2008
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Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2008-05.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2008-05
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  1. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Rethinking Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 11250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "Income Inequality and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 6770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward R. Whitehouse, 2003. "The Value of Pension Entitlements: A Model of Nine OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 9, OECD Publishing.
  4. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, May.
  5. Oecd, 2006. "Projecting OECD Health and Long-Term Care Expenditures: What Are the Main Drivers?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 477, OECD Publishing.
  6. Hilary W. Hoynes & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2006. "Poverty in America: Trends and Explanations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 47-68, Winter.
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