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Structural theory and relative poverty in rich Western democracies, 1969–2000

Structural theory and relative poverty in rich Western democracies, 1969–2000,10.1016/j.rssm.2005.02.004,Research in Social Stratification and Mobilit

Structural theory and relative poverty in rich Western democracies, 1969–2000   (Citations: 5)
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This study assesses if structural theory explains the variation in poverty across rich Western democracies. With unbalanced panel analysis of 18 countries, two poverty measures and controlling for the welfare state and economic performance, I examine five structural factors: manufacturing employment, agricultural employment, female labor force participation, the elderly population, and children in single mother families. Manufacturing employment, female labor force participation, elderly population, and children in single mother families significantly influence the headcount measure of poverty, while agricultural employment is insignificant. By contrast, all five structural variables are insignificant for the interval measure of poverty. For the headcount, the structural variables have a more powerful influence than economic growth (the only significant indicator of economic performance) but a smaller influence than the welfare state. For the interval measure, the welfare state has a much larger influence than economic growth, and the insignificant structural and other economic variables. Counterfactual simulations are used to illustrate consequences of these effects for the U.S., Germany, and Sweden. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate the main conclusions hold regardless of the U.S. cases. Though structural variables influence one of the two poverty measures, the welfare state is most important to explaining poverty in rich Western democracies.
Journal: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility , vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 153-175, 2006
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    • ...A growing body of research examines the correlates of macro-level variation in poverty across affluent Western democracies (Brady, 2005, 2006; Kenworthy, 1999; Moller et al., 2003)...
    • ...Structural theory is a compositional explanation: the more people in vulnerable demographic or labor market circumstances, the more poverty exists (Brady, 2006)...
    • ...Sociologists have shown that labor market factors like manufacturing employment and female labor force participation have substantial effects on national levels of poverty (Brady, 2006)...
    • ...Yet, single parenthood has been found to be only a minor influence on overall poverty (Brady, 2006) and insignificant for working age adult poverty (Moller et al., 2003)...
    • ...At the same time, elderly population size has a modest effect on overall poverty and it remains unclear if large elderly populations contribute to poverty since generous welfare states alleviate economic insecurity over the life cycle (Brady, 2006; Esping-Andersen, 1999)...
    • ...11 Brady, 2006 shows that this standardization results in larger and more significant coefficients than the percent of children in single...
    • ...To evaluate the sources of poverty, we follow recent research on inequality (Alderson and Nielsen, 2002) and poverty (Brady, 2003c, 2005, 2006)...

    David Bradyet al. Nearly universal, but somewhat distinct: The feminization of poverty i...

    • ...Bradshaw and Chen 1996; Brady 2005; Brady et al. 2008; Cantillon and van den Bosch...

    Janet C. Gornicket al. Child Poverty in Upper-Income Countries: Lessons from the Luxembourg I...

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