You are here

Exiting poverty: Does sex matter?

TitleExiting poverty: Does sex matter?
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCurtis, L. J., and Rybczynski K.
JournalWaterloo Economic Series
Keywordsduration, family, labour, policy, poverty, women

While Murphy, Zhang & Dionne (2012) report a slight decrease in the average duration of poverty spells in Canada over the past decade, little is understood about the factors associated with poverty duration in Canada, nor which factors, if any, may affect women and men differently. Moreover, research pays scant attention to how far Canadians transition out of poverty. For example, some may exit poverty only marginally while others exit to much higher incomes. We investigate the determinants of poverty duration among women and men in Canada. A major contribution of this paper is the examination of poverty duration across different exit destinations (competing risks); exits to just above the poverty line versus exits to higher levels of income. We find that nearly ¼ of poverty spells end within 110% of the poverty line (near poverty). Many of those that exit to near poverty experience multiple spells. As expected, we find that higher education increases the probability of transitioning to higher income levels, but very little is correlated with exits to near poverty relative to not exiting. The longer the poverty spell, the lower the probability of exit, particularly to higher income levels. We find few significant gender differences in the coefficient estimates. However, several factors associated with exit to higher income levels differ from those factors that are associated with exits to near poverty.

Document URL