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The persistence of poverty across generations: a view from two British cohorts

By Stephen Gibbons and Jo Blanden


An exploration of whether childhood poverty makes adult poverty more likely, and how such patterns may have changed over time. The recent focus on reducing the extent of child poverty in the UK stems mainly from worries about the future consequences of poverty on children’s later achievement. With this background in mind, it is clearly crucial to improve our understanding of the costs of growing up poor. This report explores the strength of the link between childhood poverty and poverty later in life, and asks whether this link has grown stronger or weaker in recent decades. Using information on the incomes of two British cohorts who were teenagers either in the 1970s or in the 1980s, it asks: How large is the transmission of poverty between a teenager’s parents’ circumstances and their own circumstances when they are in their early 30s? By how much has the strength of this transmission of poverty changed between the two cohorts studied? How far do the effects of early disadvantage continue to be felt as individuals reach middle age

Topics: H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: The Policy Press on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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