Monday, 31 December 2012

Lone parents, poverty and policy in the European Union

an article by Yekaterina Chzhen (University of Oxford, UK) and Jonathan Bradshaw (University of York, UK) published in Journal of European Social Policy volume 22 Number 5 (December 2012)


Although there is considerable research evidence to show that children in lone-parent families are at increased risk of poverty, there have been few comparative analyses of lone parents in Europe.

Using the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2009, this paper compares the prevalence and characteristics of lone-parent families, analyses the poverty and deprivation risks of children, and evaluates the potential impact of social transfer income packages on child poverty reduction.

We use the unique personal identifiers of mothers, fathers and partners to define lone-parent families with greater precision. Using a multi-level framework, we find lower child poverty rates in countries with more generous social transfers, even after controlling for the country standard of living.

A reverse pattern is observed for material deprivation: the negative effect of social transfer income washes out when the GDP per capita is controlled for, which itself has a negative and significant effect on material deprivation.

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