Edited by Guðný B. Eydal and Tine Rostgaard
Chapter 23: Children, poverty and public policy: a cross-national perspective
This chapter by Gornick and Nell assesses child poverty in 24 high- and middle-income countries, using data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database. They assess poverty patterns using both relative and absolute poverty standards to account for variation in income levels both within and across countries. The authors analyse poverty outcomes based on (1) market income (income ‘prior to’ taxes and transfers); (2) income from the market plus ‘family transfers’; and (3) total household income. This disaggregation shows the extent to which – and where – states use public policies to reduce market-generated poverty among children. To flesh out the analyses of poverty reduction based on microdata, the authors shift vantage points and take a brief look at the association between family benefits (both cash and tax breaks, using macro-data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)) and child poverty reduction (due to redistribution, based on the LIS microdata). After assessing poverty and poverty reduction among all children, they consider two crucial risk factors that, within countries, shape children’s likelihood of being poor: family structure and parents’ employment.
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