Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/21460
Authors: 
Biewen, Martin
Year of Publication: 
2003
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion paper series 779
Abstract: 
Based on a multiple spells approach, this paper studies the extent and the composition of chronic poverty in Germany. The results indicate that about one third of cross-sectional poverty in a given year is chronic. The characteristics that are most closely associated with long-term poverty are economic inactivity and pensioner status, while the number of children and the gender of the household head do not seem to have a systematic effect. This is in contrast to cross-sectional results where the biggest poverty risk is usually unemployment and a large number of children, while pensioners do not face particularly high poverty risks. Estimates from a multiple spells hazard model further suggest that 6% of the population have unobserved characteristics that lead to low poverty exit and high re-entry rates, making these individuals likely candidates for chronic poverty. A comparison with results for Great Britain and the United States suggests that poverty is less persistent in Germany.
Subjects: 
chronic poverty
poverty persistence
multiple spells
unobserved heterogeneity
JEL: 
D31
I32
C23
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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