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Gornick, Janet C.
Jäntti, Markus
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
LIS Working Paper Series No. 509
Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), Luxembourg
We draw on LIS' various resources to sketch a portrait of child poverty in upper-income countries. We first summarize past LIS-based scholarship on child poverty, highlighting studies that seek to explain cross-national variation in child poverty levels. Our empirical sections focus on child poverty in 13 upper-income countries. We begin with a descriptive overview of poverty among all households and among those with children, presenting multiple poverty measures (relative and absolute, pre- and post- taxes and transfers) and reporting the magnitude of poverty reduction due to state programs. We focus on within-country associations between child poverty and three important characteristics: family type, parents' educational attainment, and parents' attachment to paid work. Our main conclusions include: (a) child poverty rates vary markedly across the mostly high-income countries included in the LIS data archive; (b) child poverty rates shift over time in diverse ways; (c) within countries, family demography and parents' labor market engagement are the main factors that shape children's likelihood of living in a poor household; (d) taxes and transfers powerfully shape the economic wellbeing of children in all countries; (e) the factors that explain poverty variation within countries are not the same as those that explain poverty variation across countries; the latter are mainly institutional, including both labor market structures and policy configurations.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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