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Determinants of Relative Poverty in Advanced Capitalist Democracies

Stephanie Moller, Evelyne Huber, John D. Stephens, David Bradley and François Nielsen
American Sociological Review
Vol. 68, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 22-51
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088901
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Determinants of Relative Poverty in Advanced Capitalist Democracies
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Abstract

Using relative poverty measures based on micro-level data from the Luxembourg Income Study, in conjunction with pooled time-series data for 14 advanced capitalist democracies between 1970 and 1997, the authors analyze separately the rate of pre-tax/transfer poverty and the reduction in poverty achieved by systems of taxes and transfers. Socioeconomic factors, including de-industrialization and unemployment, largely explain pre-tax/transfer poverty rates of the working-age population in these advanced capitalist democracies. The extent of redistribution (measured as poverty reduction via taxes and transfers) is explained directly by welfare state generosity and constitutional structure (number of veto points) and the strength of the political left, both in unions and in government.

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