The end of destitution

Gazeley, Ian and Newell, Andrew (2009) The end of destitution. Working Paper. Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn.

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Abstract

The paper presents a statistical generalisation, to working families in the whole of Britain, of Rowntree’s finding that absolute poverty declined dramatically in York between 1899 and 1936. We use poverty lines devised by contemporary social investigators and two relatively newly-discovered data sets. We estimate an almost complete elimination of absolute poverty among working households for the whole of the Britain between 1904 and 1937. We offer a number of pieces of corroborative evidence that give support to our findings. We decompose the poverty reduction into the effects of two proximate causes, of roughly equal importance, the decline in family size and the rise of real wages. We conclude with some speculation about the deeper causes of the decline.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Working Paper)
Keywords: poverty; living standards; Britain; demographic change; real wage growth
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Depositing User: Ian Gazeley
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:35
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2012 07:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17299
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