Decomposing Youth Poverty in Eighteen Countries

Tsui-o Tai, University of Queensland

Using 2003-2006 Luxembourg Income Study data, I examine the effects of the living arrangements, market inequality, and social welfare on the poverty level of young adults aged between 18 and 32 across eighteen countries. The decomposition analysis with Sweden as the reference country reveals how the three structural factors contribute to divergent poverty patterns across countries. The relative high poverty level of Nordic young adults results from their leaving parental homes at early ages and the less egalitarian market income distribution. Contrarily, even with very limited social provisions, East Asian young adults are at a lower poverty risk because of a higher proportion of co-residence with their parents and the more equalitarian market. By incorporating newly available data on East Asian and Latin American countries, this study maximizes variation in poverty patterns, welfare systems, market structures, and household composition and offers a more comprehensive perspective on the comparative study of youth poverty.

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Presented in Poster Session 7