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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 ORCID: 0000-0002-4277-1001, 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). 455 - 474. ISSN 0964-1998

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Identification Number: 10.1111/rssa.12202

Abstract

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
Official URL: https://rss.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/146798...
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: 20 Sep 2021 02:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101324

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