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.
Economic collapse in the former Communist bloc led to soaring levels of child poverty in the 1990s. The effects of rising unemployment, under-employment and wage arrears were exacerbated by the erosion of state support for families with children as governments responded to a collapse in revenue. Since 1998, even the poorer countries of the bloc - those in South Eastern Europe and the CIS - have seen a return to economic growth. But have the benefits of growth been felt by children? Are child support policies being restored or restructured as economic conditions improve, and to what effect?
In this paper the situation of three EU countries that have recently experienced substantial but very different reforms of their systems to support families with children is analysed and compared: Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom. The structure of these systems is very different: Austria gives emphasis to universal benefits, Spain to tax concessions and the
United Kingdom to means-tested benefits. Basically, the recent reforms have reinforced these structures in each country while increasing the amount of public resources directed towards children. However, are the chosen strategies the most adequate for each country? What would have happened to the economic well-being of children if instead of reinforcing
the existing types of policies these countries had completely transformed the architecture of their systems in another direction? More concretely, what would be the effect on child poverty and on income distribution?
This paper documents levels and changes in child poverty rates in 12 OECD countries using data from the Luxembourg Income Study project, and focusing upon an analysis of the reasons for changes over the 1990s. The objective is to uncover the relative role of income transfers from the state in determining the magnitude and direction of change in child poverty rates, holding other demographic and labour market factors constant. As such the paper offers a cross-country overview of child poverty, changes in child poverty and the impact of public policy in North America and Europe.
This paper considers three groups of children affected by international migration: (i) children left behind by international labour migrants from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand; (ii) children of Thai nationals in Japan; and (iii) children brought along by irregular migrants in Malaysia and Thailand. Based on the limited data available from published sources, the paper constructs preliminary estimates of numbers of children involved. It then synthesizes available evidence on problems and opportunities faced by the children, and on policies towards them.
The objective of this paper is to analyse the impact of fiscal policy on the economic resources available to children, and on the child poverty rate. A static microsimulation model specifically designed for the purposes of comparative fiscal analysis in the European Union, EUROMOD, is used to study the age incidence of government taxes and transfers in 2001 in 15 EU countries.
This paper looks at the well-being of children in transition economies in the light of greater economic integration. The different stages of integration of the transition economies into the world economy are marked by substantial variations in trade and capital flows. International labour mobility remains limited, and unemployment has been high since the beginning of transition. Because employment is the main determinant of household income, this has had a negative effect on the well-being of children.
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.