Nicolas Hérault

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Jan Kabátek

j.kabatek@unimelb.edu.au

Melbourne Institute Brown Bag

Title: What is the real extent of poverty persistence?

Abstract: Longitudinal or panel surveys of households – nowadays regularly conducted in most developed countries – are the primary source of information for the study of intra-generational income mobility. However, there are good reasons to believe that mobility estimates based on this type of surveys are overestimated, especially estimates of low income mobility. First, measurement errors are pernicious in this type of surveys, particularly so for low incomes. Second, panel surveys are not representative of or underrepresent the most disadvantaged individuals such as, for instance, the homeless. Third, low income individuals tend to be subject to relatively high panel attrition rates. The aim of this paper is to show that better data can change our perception of low income mobility. Using data collected by Journeys Home (JH) in Australia, we show that estimates of poverty exit rates are substantially lower than those obtained with the Australian general population survey. We then investigate the factors behind these differences.

Presenter: Nicolas Hérault, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne

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