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Poverty dynamics, family events, labour market events in Europe: are there any differences between women and men?
Ever since the mid-1980ís and the use of longitudinal data, it has been widely recognized that poverty is a dynamic situation : there is a high degree of poverty turnover from one year to another (Duncan et al., 1984; Bane and Ellwood, 1986 ; Huff Stevens, 1994, 1995 ; Burguess and Propper, 1996). Naturally, these results on the nature of poverty lead to a wish to understand its causes. What makes households likely to move into poverty and what makes them likely to move out of it ? A survey of the empirical studies shows that labour market events as demographic events have an important role in determining movements into and out of poverty. The basic results regarding the links between these events and poverty can be readily summarized as follows : employment and union are economically favourable events, and, on the contrary, unemployment and separation are economically unfavourable events (Duncan et al., 1993 ; Muffels et al., 1999; Oxley et al., 2000; Finnie, 2000). Besides, there is a large body of evidence indicating that a family event such as a divorce is more important for womenís than for menís economic well being (Jenkins, 1998; Jarvis and Jenkins, 1999; Bianchi Lekha and Kahn, 1999; Finnie, 2000; Fritzell and Henz, 2002). So the aim of this article is to look at how and to what extent it is appropriate to make a distinction between men and women to understand the role of labour market transitions and life-cycle events with regard to movements into and out of poverty. In particular, the article will focus on the impact of four events : access to employment, loss of employment, union and break up of an union. Earlier studies on these effects are based on national panel data and consequently provide national findings. In this article, we make use of data from Waves 1, 2 and 3 of the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). One advantage of these longitudinal data is the existence of homogeneous information about fourteen european countries. Thus, it gives us the opportunity to carry out the analysis on the european level. This analysis constitutes a part of a more extensive research on poverty dynamics in Europe (the findings of this research were presented in the framework of the COSTa15 (WG2 meeting, 18-19 October 2002, Urbino)). In this research, we have identified some robust results concerning the impact of labour market and family events on transitions into or out of poverty. With regard to the effects of union and separation, several findings can be highlighted. We showed that separation (without simultaneous employment transitions) increases the probability of climbing out of poverty. This positive effect is stronger for men than for women. As for the impact of separation upon entry into poverty, itís significant and positive only for women. Inversely, union plays a negative role on the probability of exiting from poverty. We have also focused on the simultaneous effect of demographic and labour market events. We showed that when an individual is concerned at the same time by an access to employment and a union, it is likely that he exits from poverty and it is unlikely that he falls into poverty. Besides, divorcing for a men, and the loss of employment, increase his probability of exiting from poverty. Inversely, becoming a lone parent for women, and the loss of employment (usually, her husbandís employment), increase her probability of entering into poverty.
Bourreau-Dubois, Cecile, Jeandidier, Bruno, Berger, Frederic (2003 July) 'Poverty dynamics, family events, labour market events in Europe: are there any differences between women and men?', EPUNet-2003 Conference, 3-5 July 2003, Colchester, UK
Frederic Berger, Cecile Bourreau-Dubois, Bruno Jeandidier
Countries included
Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom
ECHP Waves
1994, 1995, 1996
Institutions Involved
Centre d'…tudes de Populations, de Pauvretť et de Politiques (CEPS/INSTEAD), Luxembourg, Uni. of Nancy, France
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