Poverty research has increasingly focused on persistent income poverty, both as a crucial social indicator and as a target for policy intervention. Such an approach can lead to an identification of a sub-set of poor individuals facing particularly adverse circumstances and/or distinctive problems in escaping from poverty. Here we seek to establish whether, in comparison with cross-sectional measures, persistent poverty measures also provide a better measure of exclusion from a minimally acceptable way of life and relate with other important variables in a logical fashion. Our analysis draws upon the first three waves of the ECHP and shows that a persistent poverty measure does constitute a significant improvement over its cross-sectional counterpart in the explanation of levels of deprivation. Persistent poverty is related to life-style deprivation in a manner that comes close to being uniform across countries. The measure of persistence also conforms to our expectations of how a poverty measure should behave in that, unlike relative income poverty lines, defining the threshold level more stringently enables us to identify progressively groups of increasingly deprived respondents. Overall the persistent poverty measure constitutes a significant advance on cross-sectional income measures. However, there is clearly a great deal relating to the process of accumulation and of erosion of resources, which is not fully captured in the persistent poverty measure. In the absence of such information, there is a great deal to be said for making use of both types of indictors in formulating and evaluating policies while we continue to improve our understanding of longer-term processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Public Administration