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What keeps young adults in permanent poverty? A comparative analysis using ECHP.

  • Publication year: 2009
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: Permanence of poverty; Youth; Comparative analysis; Panel data; Partial Proportional Odds Ordered Logit Model; ECHP; European studies
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Previous studies suggest that there are strong differences in the rates of youth poverty across European countries. Rather surprisingly, it is found to be high in Scandinavian countries, and relatively speaking, lower in Mediterranean and Anglo-Saxon countries. This somewhat unexpected finding prompts the question whether the incidence of poverty is an appropriate measure of youth disadvantage. Instead of considering poverty rates we consider the length of recorded poverty spells, taking into account explicitly the temporal sequencing of the episodes of poverty. Using the European Community Household Panel, individuals are classified into different groups of poverty permanence, each reflecting severity of social disadvantage. Based on these categories we implement a generalized ordinal logit model to assess the various factors associated with social disadvantage among youth. We find that cross-national patterns differ from those found in previous studies. In particular from our findings it does not result that poverty is highest among young people in Social Democratic countries. Our analysis shows important gender differences, though they are not the same across the countries included in the study. For some countries it turns out that being a woman is a protective factor against long-term poverty. As previous studies suggest, young individuals’ living arrangements matter.