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Conference Paper Monday Afternoon Seminar Series

Estimating Ethnic Minority Poverty Rates in Britain Using Matched Survey Data

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Publication date

05 Jun 2006

Abstract

Economic investigation of the experiences and prospects of Britain's ethnic groups paints a picture of multiple deprivation and disadvantage in areas such as earnings, employment and occupational status. However, research on poverty amongst ethnic minorities in the UK is hampered by problems of data availability since non-whites account for a small proportion of the population. We address this problem by following an approach in the poverty mapping literature. We estimate an econometric model on one data set (a relatively small scale but detailed survey) and then apply elements of the fitted model to another data set (larger-scale but less detailed). The analysis uses waves 1 and 11 of the BHPS and the 1991 and 2001 Individual Census Samples of Anonymised Records as the large scale dataset. The analysis enables us to calculate income-based welfare measures - headcount poverty rates and poverty gaps - over time, and at a level of regional and ethnic disaggregation not previously available for the UK. There is considerable heterogeneity in poverty levels between ethnic groups and across regions. Pakistanis and Bangladeshi-headed households fare particularly badly and there is ethnic variation in the impact of region on poverty rates. Over time there is some evidence of between-group convergence in poverty rates.

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