Reassessing Poverty Dynamics in Britain and the USISER External Seminars

The welfare state promises to protect vulnerable citizens by redistributing resources. We ask how well that promise has been fulfilled in the U.S. and Britain in recent years. Drawing on individual working-age poverty histories from 1993-2003, we focus on several features related to the promise of the welfare state: the degree of change in poverty status (transience), the extent to which risk was shared (democratization), whether redistributive programs promoted transience and democratization, and whether poverty experiences differed across the two national contexts. Significantly, we tackle a key methodological challenge associated with modeling individual
poverty dynamics – poverty measurement error. We find that error affects our conclusions in important ways: Poverty is less transient and democratized than previously thought, while cross-national differences are more pronounced.

Presented by:

Peggy McDonough (Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada) Co-authors: Diana Worts and Amanda Sacker

Date & time:

16 Feb 2009 16:00 pm - 16 Feb 2009 17:00 pm

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