Destined for Deprivation? Intergenerational Poverty Traps in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Centre for History and Economics 00-03
23 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2001
Date Written: October 2000
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.
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, N33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation