The Working Papers are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues. More than 100 Working Papers have been published to date, with recent and forthcoming papers covering the full range of the Centre's agenda. The Working Papers series incorporates the earlier series of Innocenti Occasional Papers (with sub-series), also available for download.
This paper offers a descriptive portrait of income poverty among children in Germany between the early 1980s and 2001, with a focus on developments since unification in 1991. Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel are used to estimate poverty rates, rates of entry to and exit from poverty, and the duration of time spent in and out of poverty. The analysis focuses upon comparisons between East and West Germany, by family structure, and citizenship status.
This paper has three objectives. The first is to discuss the major issues involved in defining and measuring child poverty. The choices that must be made are clarified and a set of six principles to serve as a guide for public policy is proposed. The second objective is to take stock of child poverty and changes in child poverty in the majority of OECD countries since about 1990 when the Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force. Finally, the third objective is to formulate a number of suggestions for setting credible targets for the elimination of child poverty in the rich countries. This involves the development of appropriate and timely information sources as well as the clarification of feasible targets that may vary across the OECD.
Current research on child poverty in rich countries is mostly quantitative in nature and mainly concentrates on determining its extent and future outcomes. Notwithstanding the valuable results this kind of research has yielded, little is known about what poverty is experienced in the ‘world of children’, i.e., in their daily lives. To consider poverty from a child’s perspective is still rare (e.g. Ridge 2002). The current study of children growing up poor in the affluent Netherlands is an initial attempt and adds to the focus on the children’s perspectives and their coping mechanisms. This way, it enables us to see children’s agency in their own environment. Such an insight can help to develop policy interventions that attend to their needs and make a difference to the daily lives of poor children.
The paper considers child poverty in rich English-speaking countries - U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and Ireland. It is sometimes assumed that these countries stand out from other OECD countries for their levels of child poverty. The paper looks at the policies they have adopted to address the problem.
This paper examines the measurement of infant mortality in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. There are worrying indications that official infant mortality counts, based on administrative data, may underestimate the true gravity of the problem.
This paper compares people’s attitudes to inequality at the end of the 1990s – the qualities they perceive are needed to get ahead, the role of government and rewards for employment – in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Western countries. Data (from the 1999 International Social Survey Programme) suggest that overall, people in CEE express substantially more ‘egalitarian’ attitudes than those in the West, even after 10 years of economic adjustment to the market economy.
A combination of economic growth and committed revenue-raising should give most governments in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union considerable scope to devote increased resources to tackling poverty. We review the extent and nature of poverty across the transition countries, emphasising the phenomenon of the working-age poor. We consider governments' fiscal positions and revenue raising tools, including the issue of whether some countries now have levels of external debt servicing that are so high as to hamper social sector expenditures.
The concept of social exclusion has been widely debated in Europe but its application to children has seen relatively little discussion. What the social exclusion of children can lead to is the first main theme of the paper, where among other things, the choice of reference group, the geographical dimension of exclusion, and the issue of who is responsible for any exclusion of children are considered. The second main theme is the use of the concept of exclusion in the USA, where in contrast to Europe it has achieved little penetration to date.
Home based work has a dual and contradictory character: on the one hand, as a source of income diversification for poor workers and the emergence of micro-enterprises, yet on the other, it is a source of exploitation of vulnerable workers as firms attempt to contain costs. This paper examines the social protection needs of women workers in this sector, and also argues for public action to promote such work as a possible new labour intensive growth strategy in these and other developing countries.
Germany ranks lowest regarding educational equalities among OECD countries, as the recently published PISA ‘Programme of International Student Assessment’ data revealed (ref. PISA 2000). This might be due to the remarkable German transition process from primary to secondary school where children are selected into diversely prestigious school environments at an early stage of their intellectual development. This paper aims at examining whether sorting of children is leading to educational inequalities.