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Using Budget Standards to Assess the Well-Being of Families

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  • Peter Saunders

Abstract

This paper describes the methods used by the Budget Standards Unit at the Social Policy Research Centre to develop a set of indicative budget standards for a range of Australian households. Some of the results from the project are then compared with estimates of actual household expenditures derived from the Household Expenditure Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The sensitivity of budget standards to some of the key assumptions and judgements made in developing them is illustrated in two examples: housing costs and spatial variations in prices. The paper concludes that one important contribution that budget standards research can make to the discussion of the adequacy of household incomes is in providing a transparent framework for selecting items needed to maintain a particular standard of living and translating them through prices into the budgets required to purchase them.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Saunders, 1998. "Using Budget Standards to Assess the Well-Being of Families," Discussion Papers 0093, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:sprcdp:0093
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    File URL: http://www.sprc.unsw.edu.au/dp/dp093.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Smeeding, Timothy M, et al, 1993. "Poverty, Inequality, and Family Living Standards Impacts across Seven Nations: The Effect of Noncash Subsidies for Health, Education and Housing," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(3), pages 229-256, September.
    2. Bruce Bradbury, 1993. "Unemployment And Income Support: Challenges For The Years Ahead," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 12(2), pages 14-31, June.
    3. Saunders, P. & Bradbury, B., 1991. "Some Australian Evidence on the Consensual Approach to Poverty Measurement," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 47-78.
    4. Peter Saunders & Garry Hobbes, 1988. "Income Inequality in Australia in an International Comparative Perspective," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 21(3), pages 25-34.
    5. Bruce Bradbury, 1989. "The 'Family Package' and the Cost of Children," Discussion Papers 0010, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    6. Peter Saunders & George Matheson, 1991. "An Ever-Rising Tide? Poverty in Australia in the Eighties," Discussion Papers 0030, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    7. Peter Saunders & Johan Fritzell, 1995. "Wage and Income Inequality in Two Welfare States: Australia and Sweden," Discussion Papers 0060, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    8. Peter Saunders & Michael Fine, 1992. "The Mixed Economy of Support for the Aged in Australia: Lessons for Privatisation," Discussion Papers 0036, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    9. Peter Saunders & Peter Whiteford, 1990. "Compensating Low Income Groups for Indirect Tax Reform," Discussion Papers 0021, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    10. Peter Whiteford, 1992. "Are Immigrants Over-represented in the Australian Social Security System?," Discussion Papers 0031, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    11. Saunders, Peter & Stott, Helen & Hobbes, Garry, 1991. "Income Inequality in Australia and New Zealand: International Comparisons and Recent Trends," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(1), pages 63-79, March.
    12. Gerry Redmond, 1999. "Incomes, incentives and the growth of means-testing in Hungary," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(1), pages 77-99, March.
    13. Russell Ross, 1988. "The Labour Market Position of Aboriginal People in Non-Metropolitan New South Wales," Discussion Papers 001, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    14. Peter Whiteford, 1988. "Taxation and Social Security: An Overview," Discussion Papers 003, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    15. Peter Whiteford, 1995. "The Use of Replacement Rates in International Comparisons of Benefit Systems," Discussion Papers 0054, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    16. Bruce Bradbury, 1988. "Family Size Equivalence Scales and Survey Evaluation of Income and Well-Being," Discussion Papers 005, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tess Penne & Irene Cussó Parcerisas & Lauri Mäkinen & Bérénice Storms & Tim Goedemé, 2016. "Can reference budgets be used as a poverty line?," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/05, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    2. James Cox, 2002. "The Poverty Line Revisited," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 99-111.
    3. Gary Marks, 2005. "Dynamics of Financial Disadvantage," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 309-322.

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