The Ins and Outs of Poverty in Advanced Economies: Poverty Dynamics in Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States

FRB of San Francisco Working Paper No. 2004-18

46 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2004

See all articles by Robert G. Valletta

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

Comparative analysis of poverty dynamics - incidence, transitions, and persistence - can yield important insights about the nature of poverty and the effectiveness of alternative policy responses. This manuscript compares poverty dynamics in four advanced industrial countries (Canada, unified Germany, Great Britain, and the United States) for overlapping six-year periods in the 1990s. The data indicate that poverty persistence is higher in North America than in Europe; for example, despite high incidence, poverty in Great Britain is relatively transitory. Most poverty transitions, and the prevalence of chronic poverty, are associated with employment instability and family dissolution in all four countries. The results also suggest that differences in social policy are crucial for the observed differences in poverty incidence and persistence between Europe and North America.

Keywords: Poverty

Suggested Citation

Valletta, Robert G., The Ins and Outs of Poverty in Advanced Economies: Poverty Dynamics in Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States (November 2004). FRB of San Francisco Working Paper No. 2004-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=631841 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.631841

Robert G. Valletta (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

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San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
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415-977-4084 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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