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Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan. Dr. Daniel He-chiun Liou Assistant Professor The Department of Social Work Asia University Taiwan. Second Peter Townsend Memorial Conference Measuring Poverty: The State of Art 23/01/2011. 2.

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Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan


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    1. Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Dr. Daniel He-chiun Liou Assistant Professor The Department of Social Work Asia University Taiwan Second Peter Townsend Memorial Conference Measuring Poverty: The State of Art 23/01/2011

    2. 2 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Profile of Taiwan • Population: 23,162,123 (2.2% indigenous people) (2010 data) • Territory: 36,191 km2 (around 1/7 of size of the UK) • Life expectancy: 79 (male 76, female 82) (2010 data) • GDP per capita (ppp): USD 34,743 (IMF 2010 data) • Gini Coefficient: 0.35 (2009 data)

    3. 3 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Profile of Taiwan

    4. 4 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Profile of Taiwan

    5. 5 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Introduction • In Taiwan, empirical research addressing the issue of measuring poverty has been dominated by measures that: • 1.focus on identifying the number and characteristics of households officially registered as ‘low-income households’; • 2.evaluate the extent of income poverty; or • 3.employ the Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Utilities (FCSU) method (thebudget standards method). There exist very few empirical studies on social exclusion, and none on living standards (the consensual/social indicators approach).

    6. 6 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Officially registered ‘Low-income Households • Means testing of income: household income (any non-disabled 16-64 adult will be assumed a minimum wage, NT$17,280) < 60% of the mean consumption expenditure (NT$ 9,829). • Means testing of savings: • household savings < NT$ 300,000 • (for a 4 members household). • Means testing of real estate: • household property < NT$ 3 million.

    7. 7 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Official Poverty Rate

    8. 8 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Relative Income Poverty (1) • Most Taiwanese scholars employing the relative income standard adopt certain fractions of mean or median income or expenditure as the criteria of poverty. • Most frequently chosen poverty lines are: 40, 50 or 60 per cent of the median disposable income, and/or 60 per cent of the mean consumption expenditure. Database: The Survey of Family Income and Expenditure (SFIE), commissioned annually by the government.

    9. Unadjusted Square Root of the Household Size OECD and OECD modified 9 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Relative Income Poverty (2): Equivalence Scale

    10. 10 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Budget Standard Wang, Lue and Ho (2003) and Wang, Ho and Liu (2008) used the Food, Clothing, Shelter and Utilities (FCSU) method developed by Citro and Michael (1995) to calculate the budget of a family with two adults and two children. Taking into account family size by applying the equivalence scale, the poverty threshold for each family type was determined.

    11. 11 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Social Exclusion Measurement in Taiwan Lee (2007) uses the Database of Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSCS) of 2002 to investigate six aspects of social exclusion: 1.low income; 2.unemployment; 3.lack of social interaction; 4.inactive political participation; 5.lack of social-support relationship; and 6.ill health.

    12. 12 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Social Exclusion Measurement in Taiwan • The exclusions of income and social support were found to be the two most decisive dimensions in forming the severely disadvantaged group. • He also discovered that a relatively low education level, single marital status and advanced age were the salient demographic characteristics of the severely disadvantaged groups. • However, as TSCS was not initially designed to operationalise social exclusion, the data generated from the questionnaire (of TSCS) were insufficient to investigate the complicated and multi-dimensional aspects of social exclusion.

    13. 13 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Issues on Poverty Measurement in Taiwan • The official poverty line (either 60 per cent of the mean consumption expenditure or 60% of the median disposable income) is arbitrary. The assumed minimum wage and other means tests lead to very low official poverty rates. • There is no governmental measure to monitor poverty, nor is there a consensus in the politics on how to measure poverty. • Poverty is defined solely on resources/income, irrespective of the level of people’s actual living standards.

    14. 14 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Recent Attempt to Measure Living Standards and Social Exclusion • Daniel He-chiun Liou in 2010 conducted 13 focus groups, attempting to construct living standards and social exclusion indicators culturally and socially relevant to a Taiwanese context.

    15. 15 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Indicators of Living Standards: Necessities • Food and clothing are the two aspects covered by all the focus groups. • Most participants have a clear idea of • acceptable housing or the ‘home environment’. • The importance of having a permanent • residence was repeatedly emphasised. • Household facilities such as tap water, • electricity, and gas are also considered very • important for acceptable housing.

    16. 16 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Indicators of Living Standards: Activities Two broad types of activities appear to be important: personal recreation and maintaining social relationships.

    17. 17 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Indicators of Living Standards: Activities

    18. 18 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Indicators of Social Exclusion • Many participants in the public focus groups had difficulty in comprehending the concept of social exclusion, because this concept is not rooted in Chinese/Taiwanese culture. • However, a majority of the groups were still able to identify some social elements that could cause or prevent exclusion, for example, indifference, isolation, interpersonal relationships, violence, economic pressures, poverty, (un)employment, housing, care, love, sense of security, and health.

    19. 19 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Discussions 1.The concept of social citizenship is lacking in the Taiwanese society. 2.The division between deserving and undeserving excluded is emphasised. 3.Current discourses of social exclusion have difficulty of dealing with multicultural issues.

    20. 20 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Issue One: Social Citizenship • Being excluded, for many focus groups, mainly means the inability to escape the “evils”.For an insensitive but real example, many urban groups mentioned that living in an area with the threat from the mentally ill is an unbearable circumstance, which is related to the feeling of being excluded. For the public, the presence of the mentally ill represents a disturbing “social problem”, deterring others from participating in the society.

    21. 21 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Issue One: Social Citizenship • Other “evils” the focus groups mention include poverty, unemployment, ill health, isolation and crime, etc. • An absence of the “evils” is required for not being excluded; meanwhile the public rarely clarify who should account for the existence of these problems. • Taiwanese public hardly ever connect these problems to the larger society or to the government. In other words, the presence of the “evils” is not considered as a violation of social rights or citizenship.

    22. 22 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Issue Two: Deserving and Undeserving Excluded • A division between a deserving exclusion and an undeserving exclusion is made by the public. • The deserving excluded generally refer to those who are disadvantaged, such as the aged, the disabled or people with a long-term illness. • However, there are some others who are the undeserving excluded. Those people who are capable of working and participating in the society, but they choose not to belong to this category.

    23. is primarily concerned with citizenship and social rights. The social rights “mean the whole range from the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilised being according to the standards prevailing in the society” (Marshall, 1950: 10-11). RED SID stresses the prominence of integrating the marginalised citizens into the larger society. 23 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Issue Three: Multicultural Issues The social exclusion discourses, either SID or RED, aim to eliminate the gap in living standards.

    24. 24 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Quotation from an Indigenous Group What “society” are we talking about? We live in different societies. Although we are under the same roof the Republic of China, we indigenous people have our own society. Even though our society is small, if we have different value system then we are separated from the larger society. We often discuss who construct the (larger) society. Who determine what our society is?...So what “social” exclusion is about?

    25. 25 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan Issue Three: There is a fear that the process of inclusion will be made at the cost of challenging, or severely diluting, the core values which are the defining characteristics of particular ethnic groups. In a culturally plural society, as one is to evaluate the extent of social exclusion of a certain cultural minority group, both a general citizenship component (individual social rights) and a differential citizenship component (group rights) must be in place.

    26. 26 Poverty (and Social Exclusion) Measurement in Taiwan TAHNK YOU VERY MUCH FOR LISTENING.