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Exiting Poverty: Does Sex Matter?

  • Lori J. Curtis

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

  • Kathleen Rybczynski

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

While Murphy, Zhang & Dionne (2012) report a slight decrease in the average duration of poverty spells in Canada over the past decade, little is understood about the factors associated with poverty duration in Canada, nor which factors, if any, may affect women and men differently. Moreover, research pays scant attention to how far Canadians transition out of poverty. For example, some may exit poverty only marginally while others exit to much higher incomes. We investigate the determinants of poverty duration among women and men in Canada. A major contribution of this paper is the examination of poverty duration across different exit destinations (competing risks); exits to just above the poverty line versus exits to higher levels of income. We find that nearly ¼ of poverty spells end within 110% of the poverty line (near poverty). Many of those that exit to near poverty experience multiple spells. As expected, we find that higher education increases the the lower the probability of exit, particularly to higher income levels. We find few significant gender differences in the coefficient estimates. However, several factors associated with exit to higher income levels differ from those factors that are associated with exits to near poverty.

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Paper provided by University of Waterloo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1307.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision: Sep 2013
Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:1307
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  1. Dunifon, Rachel & Kalil, Ariel & Danziger, Sandra K., 2003. "Maternal Work Behavior under Welfare Reform: How does the Transition from Welfare to Work Affect Child Development?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 55-82.
  2. Narendranathan, W & Stewart, Mark B, 1993. "How Does the Benefit Effect Vary as Unemployment Spells Lengthen?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 361-81, Oct.-Dec..
  3. Matthew Brzozowski & Thomas F. Crossley, 2011. "Viewpoint: Measuring the well-being of the poor with income or consumption: a Canadian perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 88-106, February.
  4. D'Addio, Anna Cristina & Rosholm, Michael, 2005. "Exits from temporary jobs in Europe: A competing risks analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 449-468, August.
  5. Brozozowski, Matthew & Gervais, Martin & Klein, Paul & Suzuki, Micho, 2009. "Consumption, income, and wealth inequality in Canada," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0904, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  6. Carole A. Green & Marianne A. Ferber, 2005. "The Long-Run Effect of Part-Time Work," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 26(2), pages 323-333, January.
  7. Francesco Devicienti, 2002. "Poverty persistence in Britain: A multivariate analysis using the BHPS, 1991–1997," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 307-340, December.
  8. Jennifer Stewart & Martin Dooley, . "The Duration of Spells on Welfare and Off-welfare among Lone Mothers in Ontario," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 21, McMaster University.
  9. Martin D. Dooley, 1994. "Women, Children and Poverty in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 20(4), pages 430-443, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
  12. Edin, P.A. & Bergstrom, R., 1991. "Time aggregation and the Distributional Shape of Unemployment Duration," Papers 1991u, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  13. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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