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Always Poor or Never Poor and Nothing in Between? Duration of Child Poverty in Germany

  • Michael Fertig


  • Marcus Tamm


This paper analyses the duration of child poverty in Germany. In our sample, we observe the entire income history from the individuals’ birth to their coming of age at age 18.Therefore we are able to analyze dynamics in and out of poverty for the entire population of children, whether they become poor at least once or not. Using duration models,we allow poverty exit and re-entry to be correlated even after controlling for observable characteristics and also account for correlations with initial conditions. Our results indicate that household composition, most importantly single parenthood, and the labour market status as well as level of education of the household head are the main driving forces behind exit from and re-entry into poverty and thus determine the (long-term) experience of child poverty. However, unobserved heterogeneity seems to play an important role as well.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in its series RWI Discussion Papers with number 0056.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:dpaper:0056
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  1. Francesco Devicienti, 2011. "Estimating poverty persistence in Britain," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 657-686, May.
  2. repec:rwi:dpaper:0026 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2004. "Poverty Persistence in Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 4539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic status and health in childhood: the origins of the gradient," Working Papers 262, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. Corak, Miles & Fertig, Michael & Tamm, Marcus, 2005. "A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 26, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  6. Martin Biewen, 2003. "Who Are the Chronic Poor?: Evidence on the Extent and the Composition of Chronic Poverty in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 350, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Ann Huff Stevens, 1999. "Climbing out of Poverty, Falling Back in: Measuring the Persistence of Poverty Over Multiple Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 557-588.
  8. Arnstein Aassve & Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Carol Propper, 2006. "Modelling poverty by not modelling poverty: an application of a simultaneous hazards approach to the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6243, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2004. "Poverty Persistence in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1209, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jemkins, 2002. "Who Stays Poor? Who Becomes Poor? Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C60-C67, March.
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