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ERIC Number: ED439195
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan-28
Pages: 50
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Inequality in Poverty in Affluent Nations: The Role of Single Motherhood and the State.
Christopher, Karen; England, Paula; McLanahan, Sara; Ross, Katherin; Smeeding, Tim
Women have higher rates of poverty than men in almost all societies. This paper compares the difference between male and female poverty in modern nations, using data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) to compare men's and women's poverty rates in eight Western industrialized countries in the 1990s. The LIS contains information on household income for more than 25 countries in 90 databases. The most recent wave of data was used to compare poverty rates in the United States, Australia, Canada, West Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The findings show that women have higher poverty than men in every country except Sweden. However, the ratio of women's poverty to men's poverty among the nonelderly differs by nation, the highest being the United States (1.38), followed by Australia (1.30). To assess how countries' welfare states affect gender inequality, the hypothetical sex ratios were calculated if the state did no taxation and transfer payments. In the United States, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany, the welfare state does little to reduce the gender inequality in poverty produced by single motherhood and labor market inequalities. The United Kingdom, in contrast, reduces its sex-poverty rate by 8% through its tax and transfer system. The Netherlands and Sweden seem to be the countries in which welfare states do the most for women relative to men. Overall, nations with a higher percentage of women who are single mothers will generally have a higher sex gap in poverty. An appendix contains a table of equivalence scales from the analysis. (Contains 21 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A