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The Prince and the Pauper: Movement of Children Up and Down the Canadian Income Distribution, 1994-2004


  • Burton, Peter
  • Phipps, Shelley


This paper uses longitudinal microdata from the Statistics Canada National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) spanning the years 1994 through 2004 to study patterns of family income experienced by a cohort of 7163 Canadian children for most of their childhood. Five principal questions are addressed: 1) What trends in the level of real family income are apparent?; 2) What happens to inequality of income among this group of children as they grow up?; 3) Are the same children always the ones to be ‘stuck at the bottom’ or, alternatively, ‘secure at the top’ of the relative income distribution?; 4) What are the characteristics of the children who are most likely to ever or always be in the bottom (or top) of the distribution?; 5) What changes in characteristics are associated with movements up or down the income distribution?

Suggested Citation

  • Burton, Peter & Phipps, Shelley, 2009. "The Prince and the Pauper: Movement of Children Up and Down the Canadian Income Distribution, 1994-2004," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-39, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Jun 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2009-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Picot, Garnett & Pyper, Wendy & Zyblock, Miles, 1999. "Why Do Children Move into and out of Low Income: Changing Labour Market Conditions or Marriage and Divorce," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1999132e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Wen-Hao Chen & Miles Corak, 2009. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility among the Children of Canadian Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 377-397, May.
    3. Ross Finnie & Arthur Sweetman, 2003. "Poverty dynamics: empirical evidence for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 291-325, May.
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    More about this item


    Children; Inequality; Child Poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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