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Seeking a Premier EconomyThe Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000$
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David Card, Richard Blundell, and Richard B. Freeman

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226092843

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226092904.001.0001

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Whither Poverty in Great Britain and the United States?

Whither Poverty in Great Britain and the United States?

The Determinants of Changing Poverty and Whether Work Will Work

(p.313) 8 Whither Poverty in Great Britain and the United States?
Seeking a Premier Economy
Richard Dickens, David T. Ellwood
University of Chicago Press

Scholars in the United Kingdom emphasize that poverty in the country has risen sharply since the late 1970s. In contrast, poverty in the United States has declined considerably. Since reaching 15 percent in the early 1980s, official U.S. poverty rates are now at 11 percent. The black poverty rate and the rate for single parents are at their lowest level in the forty years for which data are reported. What accounts for the apparent divergence? More importantly, what factors—demographic, economic, or policy—account for the changes in poverty in the two nations? And what role could policy play in reducing poverty? This chapter examines the relative impacts of altered demographics, rising wage inequality, work changes, and policy innovations in explaining changing poverty patterns in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Keywords:   poverty, United Kingdom, United States, demographics, wage inequality, work changes, policy innovations

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