Destined for Deprivation? Intergenerational Poverty Traps in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREI); Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics and Politics
University of Oxford - Department of Modern History
Centre for History and Economics 00-03
A model illustrates the intergenerational transmission of poverty through the effects of shocks to family income on children's general education and health and subsequently on their capacity to work and earn as adults. Evidence for nineteenth-century Britain shows that being fatherless, and so likely poor, had an adverse effect on children's human capital acquisition. However, policy intervention in the form of the Old Poor Law blocked the transmission of poverty and avoided permanent pauperism. Even at an early stage of development, redistribution emerges as a positive contribution to economic growth, not a luxury that poor countries can ill afford.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Poor Law, Poverty Traps, 18 and 19C Britain, Income Redistribution, Health, Height, Human Capital, Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty, Welfare State, Economic History, GB
JEL Classification: H20, I12, I20, I3, J24, N33working papers series
Date posted: January 6, 2001
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