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Child Poverty and Changes in Child Poverty in Rich Countries since 1990

Author

Listed:
  • Miles Corak
  • Wen-Hao Chen

Abstract

This paper documents levels and changes in child poverty rates in 12 OECD countries using data from the Luxembourg Income Study project, and focusing upon an analysis of the reasons for changes over the 1990s. The objective is to uncover the relative role of income transfers from the state in determining the magnitude and direction of change in child poverty rates, holding other demographic and labour market factors constant. As such the paper offers a cross-country overview of child poverty, changes in child poverty and the impact of public policy in North America and Europe. The paper offers a set of country specific results, and also attempts to draw general lessons. First, family and demographic forces play only a limited role in determining changes in child poverty rates. These forces change only gradually and are limited in their ability to cushion children from detrimental shocks originating in the labour market or in the government sector, which are the sources of the major forces determining the direction of change in child poverty. Second, in countries facing severe economic crises it does not appear that the amount of social transfers available were increased in a way to cushion children from these changes and put a backstop on their risk of low income. Third, there is no single road to lower child poverty rates. Changes in income transfers need to be thought through in conjunction with the nature of labour markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Miles Corak & Wen-Hao Chen, 2005. "Child Poverty and Changes in Child Poverty in Rich Countries since 1990," Papers inwopa05/28, Innocenti Working Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucf:inwopa:inwopa05/28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
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    4. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
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    7. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2000. "Inequality and poverty in the United States: the effects of changing family behavior and rising wage dispersion," Working Paper Series 2000-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    9. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
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    11. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miles Corak & Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm, 2008. "A Portrait Of Child Poverty In Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 547-571, December.
    2. Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & Holly Sutherland, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Papers inwopa05/30, Innocenti Working Papers.
    3. Timothy Smeeding & Jonathan Gershuny & Karen Robson & Coady Wing, 2009. "Income Poverty and Income Support for Minority and Immigrant Children in Rich Countries," LIS Working papers 527, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    4. Miles Corak, 2005. "Principles and Practicalities for Measuring Child Poverty in Rich Countries," LIS Working papers 406, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    5. Giuseppina Malerba & Marta Spreafico, 2013. "Income inequality in the European Union: evidence from a panel analysis," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Politica Economica ispe0065, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    6. Arnstein Aassve & Maria Iacovou & Letizia Mencarini, 2006. "Youth poverty and transition to adulthood in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(2), pages 21-50, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child poverty; child related policies; comparative analysis;

    JEL classification:

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

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