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Children and the dynamics of poverty and social exclusion: empirical evidence for Portugal

Amélia Bastos and Carla Machado

International Journal of Social Economics, 2018, vol. 45, issue 9, 1385-1404

Abstract: Purpose - While the literature commonly analyses child poverty and social exclusion data covering a single year, less is known about children who fall in and out of poverty over a longer period. The present research intends to address this gap by investigating the dynamics of child poverty and social exclusion in Portugal. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to investigate child poverty and social exclusion trajectories; and second to examine their association with specific socio-demographic and economic factors. Design/methodology/approach - Applying the definition of “at risk of poverty or social exclusion” given by Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT), the analysis extends beyond the concept of income poverty. The authors apply Portuguese data sourced from the European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions for the period 2008–2011 to suggest a longitudinal poverty and social exclusion typology to analyse child poverty and social exclusion dynamics. Findings - The findings report that children constitute the age group experiencing the worst poverty and social exclusion trajectories. Furthermore, the presence of children in the household seems to be an increasing factor of poverty and social exclusion. This information is relevant to improving the design of children and family-focussed social policies as well as contributing to the setting of targets in order to achieve EU 2020 goals including the alleviation of poverty in general and of child poverty in particular. Originality/value - The main contribution to child poverty studies derives from our analysis of the dynamics driving child poverty and social exclusion. The authors apply a methodological framework that is applicable to other EU member states and can thus enable an international comparison of poverty and social exclusion trajectories.

Keywords: Social exclusion; Poverty; Children; Household; Dynamic analysis; Longitudinal typology; I32; J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1108/IJSE-01-2016-0035

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