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Scared to be poor: Vulnerability and poverty in Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century

Federica Di Battista

No 5, HHB Working Papers Series from The Historical Household Budgets Project

Abstract: This work explores the determinants of poverty in Edwardian Britain. We use a new household budget sample collected between 1900 and 1914 to understand what role vulnerability played in determining poverty and undernutrition. First, using a probit model we find that due to perceived risk on one hand, and to social norms on the other, families purchased insurance schemes as a strategy to cope with uncertainty. Second, using recursive mixed process estimation, we find that the decision to insure caused a reallocation from food to precautionary expenditures, which led to a significant reduction in calorie availability.

Keywords: 1900-1914; Great Britain; insurance; poverty; vulnerability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C14 I31 I32 N33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2016-07-22
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-his and nep-ias
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