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Poverty & Social Policy Seminar: Labor Income, Social Transfers, and Child Poverty (June 13th)

  • Columbia University School of Social Work 1255 Amsterdam Avenue, Rm 1109 New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University invites you to a
Poverty & Social Policy Brown Bag Seminar with Bruce Bradbury, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales, Sydney.


DATE: Wednesday, June 13th, 2018
TIME: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
LOCATION: Columbia School of Social Work
1255 Amsterdam Avenue, Room 1109
New York, NY 10027


This paper documents the variation in living standards of the poorest fifth of children in rich (and some middle-income) nations, with a focus on the relative importance and interaction of social transfers (net of taxes) and labor market incomes. Overall, the cross-national variation in the disposable income of disadvantaged children is comprised equally of variation in market and transfer income (with the two negatively correlated). The English-speaking countries stand out as all having relatively low market incomes, but substantial variation in transfer income. Their low market incomes reflect low employment hours in Australia and primarily low hours in the UK and Ireland, while in the US and Canada low hours and low pay contribute equally. Comparing incomes prior to and after the 2008 financial crisis, the real disposable incomes of the poorest fifth decreased substantially in Spain and in Ireland, but were relatively stable in other rich nations.