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The poor and the poorest, 50 years on: evidence from British Household Expenditure Surveys of the 1950s and 1960s

Gazeley, Ian, Gutierrez Rufrancos, Hector, Newell, Andrew, Reynolds, Kevin and Searle, Rebecca (2017) The poor and the poorest, 50 years on: evidence from British Household Expenditure Surveys of the 1950s and 1960s. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society, 180 (2). pp. 455-474. ISSN 0964-1998

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Identification Number: 10.1111/rssa.12202

Abstract

Summary We re-explore Abel-Smith and Townsend's landmark study of poverty in early post World War 2 Britain. They found a large increase in poverty between 1953?1954 and 1960, which was a period of relatively strong economic growth. Our re-examination is a first exploitation of the data extracted from the recent digitization of the Ministry of Labour's ?Enquiry into household expenditure? in 1953?1954. First we closely replicate their results. We find that Abel-Smith and Townsend's method generated a greater rise in poverty than other reasonable methods. Using contemporary standard poverty lines, we find that the relative poverty rate grew only a little at most, and the absolute poverty rate fell, between 1953?1954 and 1961, as might be expected in a period of rising real incomes and steady inequality. We also extend the poverty rate time series of Goodman and Webb back to 1953-1954.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 Royal Statistical Society
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2019 11:33
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 10:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101324

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