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Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom Professor David Gordon Director Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research University of Bristol Department of Social Work Asia University, Wufong Township, Taichung County 413 Taiwan, R.O.C. 15 th April 2010.
Professor David Gordon
Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research
University of Bristol
Department of Social Work
Wufong Township, Taichung County 413
15th April 2010
The Beginning of the Crisis? The Collapse of Lehman Brothers September 2008
The Beginning of the Crisis? The Run on Northern Rock, September 2007
Until 2007, there had not been a run on a UK bank since 1866
The bank’s profits were private but the losses belong to the public!
The largest ever research project on Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom started on 1st April 2010.The ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) has funded this 42 month, £4.3 million pound investigation designed to advance the ‘state of the art’ of poverty and social exclusion measurement.
The research team is one of the most experienced in poverty measurement methodology ever assembled in the UK. It is a major collaboration between researchers at Heriot-Watt University, the National Centre for Social Research, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Open University, Queen\'s University Belfast, University of Bristol, University of Glasgow and the University of York.
1) Dr Aya Abe (National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan)
2) Professor Julio Boltvinik (El Colegio de México, Mexico)
3) Dr Petra Böhnke (WZB, Germany)
4) Professor Bjorn Hallerod (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
5) Dr Daniel He-chiun Liou (Asia University, Taiwan)
6) Professor Brian Nolan (University College Dublin, Ireland)
7) Bryan Perry (Research Manager, Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand)
8) Professor Veli-Matti Ritakallio (University of Turku, Finland)
9) Pedro Sáinz - Secretary of the UN Expert Group on Poverty Statistics (Rio Group, Brazil)
10) Professor Peter Saunders (University of New South Wales, Australia)
11) Dr Gemma Wright (University of Oxford) – work in South Africa
Omnibus Survey: Necessities of Life – A systematic random achieved sample of adults (16+) of about 1,860 interviews in Britain and 1,400 in Northern Ireland. Interviewers can interview only at the selected addresses and must seek to persuade those randomly chosen using a Kish grid methodology, to take part in the study.Interviews will take place in respondents’ own homes using Computer-Assisted Interviewing (CAI).
Main Survey: Poverty & Social Exclusion – A follow-up survey to the 2010/11 Family Resources Survey (circa 47,000 households). The main survey in Britain will aim for an achieved sample of 4,000 households and 6,000 individuals – with approximately 1,000 households in the ‘ethnic’ strata and 1,000 households in Scotland. In Northern Ireland, the achieved sample will be 800 households and 1,250 individuals. The survey will be divided into a household questionnaire which will be answered by the Household Reference Person (HRP) and an individual questionnaire which will be answered by all adult household members (aged 16 and over).
Northern Ireland Family Solidarity Survey, a qualitative survey of around 100 respondents will be conducted to explore the role of family in coping with poverty. In Northern Ireland – the nature of the social divisions were such that the degree of reliance on family was greater in Northern Ireland than elsewhere. Northern Ireland therefore presents a unique opportunity to explore the continuing role of family in the transmission of poverty and in coping with it. The study will have a material focus – examining the extent to which resources are transferred among family members (both nuclear and extended) - and it will also explore family cultures and relationships as factors affecting poverty and social exclusion. This will help to reveal the extent and limits of family solidarity.
British Impoverishment Survey, a qualitative survey of 72 respondents will be conducted to explore the ‘life stories’ of participants experiencing poverty, in order to understand poverty persistence and the significance of key ‘life events’ in shaping current circumstances and prospects.This work will contribute to an emerging literature in which poverty is understood as a social and symbolic relationship in which ‘the poor’ are constructed as ‘other’ and excluded from society.
A major new website – www.poverty.ac.uk
Full results of the 2011 Survey
Comparisons with the earlier surveys in 1983, 1990 and 1999
Development of new graphic visualisation tools enabling access to more complex datasets and richer comparisons between datasets across time
Video clips of what it means to live in poverty for key groups in 2011 (e.g. young, elderly, unemployed, disabled) and comparisons from the two broadcast documentary series accompanying the 1983 and 1990 surveys (Breadline Britain and Breadline Britain in the 1990s) to illustrate changing circumstances and attitudes
Narrowcast on OpenLearn, i-tunes U and You-tube
Low Education attainment
Are Outcomes Associated with Poverty?
Yes, strong association with social class
Yes, strong association for most diseases
Yes, for fatal accidents (but not accident morbidity)
Yes, except sexual abuse
Mainly after childhood
NoSummary of Outcomes of Child Poverty
Source: Bradshaw (2001)
Child poverty costs the UK at least £25 billion a year, (equivalent to 2% of GDP) including £17 billion that could accrue to the Exchequer if child poverty were eradicated.
Public spending to deal with the fallout of child poverty is about £12 billion a year, about 60 per cent of which goes on personal social services, school education and police and criminal justice.
- The annual cost of below-average employment rates and earnings levels among adults who grew up in poverty is about £13 billion, of which £5 billion represents extra benefit payments and lower tax revenues; the remaining £8 billion is lost earnings to individuals, affecting gross domestic product (GDP).
The UK Government is committed to tackling the problem of child poverty. In March 1999, the Prime Minister Tony Blair set out a commitment to end child poverty forever:
“And I will set out our historic aim that ours is the first generation to end child poverty forever, and it will take a generation. It is a 20-year mission but I believe it can be done.
The Child Poverty Act has placed this policy commitment into UK law.
Poverty can be defined as;
Command over insufficient resources over time
The result of poverty is deprivation
Argues that poverty can only be measured:
“objectively and applied consistently only in terms of the concept of relative deprivation.…. The term is understood objectively rather than subjectively. Individuals, families and groups in the population can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the types of diet, participate in the activities and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or at least widely encouraged or approved, in the society to which they belong” (1979, p 31)
“poverty is a dynamic, not a static concept…Our general theory, then, should be that individuals and families whose resources over time fall seriously short of the resources commanded by the average individual or family in the community in which they live . . . are in poverty.”
Townsend (1962, p 219)
Pα is the level of poverty
n is the population size
Q is the number of poor
z is the poverty line
yi is the per capita household income
and α has a normative value that can be set at different levels according to the importance one attaches to the lowest living standards.
of Supplementary Benefit Scale Rates (Townsend, 1979)
If we let R(t) and L(t) represent the number of rabbits and Canadian Lynx, respectively, that are alive at time t, then the Lotka-Volterra model is:
dR/dt = a*R - b*R*LdL/dt = e*b*R*L - c*L
where the parameters are defined by:
a is the natural growth rate of Rabbits in the absence of predation,
c is the natural death rate of Lynx in the absence of food (Rabbits),
b is the death rate per encounter of Rabbits due to predation,
e is the efficiency of turning predated Rabbits into Lynx.
This is a simple first order non-linear differential model – when extended to multiple species it exhibits chaotic dynamic behaviour
Key ref: May, R. (1974) Stability and Complexity in Model Ecosystems, Princeton U. Press, NJ.
Example of a Combined Low Income and Deprivation Poverty Line in Mexico
Source: PSE 1999, Multiple responses allowed