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The Persistence of Poverty in Britain: Evidence from Patterns in Intergenerational Mobility


  • Donal O'Neill;


  • Olive Sweetman



the persistence of poverty remains a major concern of policy makers. Despite this concern there has been little empirical work examining the issue. In this paper we provide estimates of poverty persistence in the U.K. by examining the degree of intergenerational mobility. Our findings support the view that poverty is a culture that is transmitted across generations. Furthermore, we find that inherited endowments, such as ability, account for only a small fraction of this transfer. This suggests that government programs aimed at providing equal opportunities, such as equal access to education, have the potential to substantially reduce inequality.

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  • Donal O'Neill; & Olive Sweetman, 1995. "The Persistence of Poverty in Britain: Evidence from Patterns in Intergenerational Mobility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n611095, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  • Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n611095

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    Cited by:

    1. Shahin Yaqub, 2002. "'Poor children grow into poor adults': harmful mechanisms or over-deterministic theory?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 1081-1093.

    More about this item


    Poverty; Economic Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being


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