About PersiPov

Project supported by the Luxembourg Fonds National de la Recherche (contract C10/LM/783502) and by core funding for CEPS/INSTEAD by the Ministry of Culture, Higher Education and Research of Luxembourg

Original summary

PersiPov is a research project co-funded by the Luxembourg Fonds National de la Recherche in its CORE programme (2010 Thematic program on "Labour market, Educational Requirements and Social Protection" - contract C10/LM/783502) for the period February 2011-January 2014 and by core funding for CEPS/INSTEAD by the Ministry of Culture, Higher Education and Research of the G.-D. of Luxembourg.

In Luxembourg, household size and composition are associated with poverty. A salient fact of the Luxembourgish poverty profile is that individuals living in households with children are at higher risk of poverty than individuals living in households without children. There are two reasons why this situation is of concern. First, given the generous Luxembourgish family policy and child benefits, it can be interpreted as a failure of the welfare state. Second, it implies that many children live in poverty which is a situation of worry given its known adverse consequences on children's future outcomes in terms of health, school performance or labour market success. The size of these adverse consequences on children depends on the nature of the poverty experienced and more specifically on the length of time spent poor: long periods of poverty are more problematic than a single year spent in this situation. Henceforth, there is a need to understand whether a longitudinal analysis of poverty would yield the same results as the worrying cross-sectional situation. Tackling this issue is precisely the aim of the PersiPov project. The main aim of PersiPov is to carry out research on poverty dynamics in Luxembourg, a country where this type of analysis is lacking. More specifically, we want to analyse the impact of household composition and of the presence of children on poverty transitions and persistence in Luxembourg.

Our first research question is: what is the impact of the presence of children of different age on income poverty dynamics in Luxembourg? Answering this question will allow determining whether the presence of children impact on the probability of entering income poverty. The presence of children is likely to impact not only the status of income poverty but also the subjective perception of individuals about their situation. This is why comparing the impact of the presence of children on subjective poverty dynamics, a relevant approach when studying poverty in a rich country, with its impact on income poverty dynamics is likely to yield interesting results. Our second research question is: Does the analysis of subjective income poverty dynamics lead to the same conclusions in Luxembourg? Finally, the macroeconomic context individuals are living in certainly affects the relationship between the presence of children and poverty dynamics in income and subjective poverty. The third research question is: is this impact similar in Luxembourg and in other European Union countries with respect to income poverty dynamics when taking into account a macroeconomic factor such as social expenditures?

Despite the availability of required data, little is known about the dynamics of poverty in Luxembourg. PersiPov will contribute to filling this gap. This is especially important in the current period of economic crisis which led the government to recently announce the need to implement austerity measures, including the reduction of some family benefits.