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Connecting the dots between social policy and aggregate outcomes: Recent standardized poverty trends

TitleConnecting the dots between social policy and aggregate outcomes: Recent standardized poverty trends
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPlante, C., and van den Berg A.
Abstract

A handful of poverty analysts have noted that we rarely consider the differential demographic and economic compositions of states when we compare their aggregate poverty levels. This has made for some unusual patterns in provincial level poverty findings. While Quebec has only performed moderately in terms of overall poverty during the last 15 years, a number of researchers continue to highlight the coincident positive impact that several new measures have had on target groups such as single mothers and dual-parent working families. This paper presents standardized poverty estimates for Canada's four largest provinces that are not unlike the kinds of standardized life expectancy estimates that have become commonplace in the health sciences. We find that controlling for compositional differences between the four largest Canadian provinces resolves the incongruity observed in Quebec. At the same time, the poverty reduction policies of some other provinces, especially Alberta, are found to be less effective than would have been expected if we only considered non-standardized rates. While surely economies as a whole determine provincial levels of well-being, we argue that making these kinds of adjustments are essential for considering the impacts of social policies in a causal light.

URLhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpjekjJdW1w
Document URLhttps://crdcn.org/sites/default/files/chuk_plante.pdf