Disability and single parenthood still loom large in inherited poverty

phys.org | 10/17/2017 | Staff
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Australians like to think we live in a country of the fair go, where anyone with the talent and willingness to work hard can succeed.

But the evidence show success is still partly inherited. Children with poor parents are more likely to grow up and be poor as adults.

Report - Australian - Institute - Health - Welfare

The latest biennial report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare highlights the ways in which social and economic position is transmitted between generations.

Research points to several key factors in inherited disadvantage—notably parental disability, family structure and unemployment.

Nature - Extent - Australia - Research - Studies

Understanding the nature and extent of inherited disadvantaged in Australia has been aided by five significant research studies in the past five years. Four of them use data from the comprehensive Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The fifth used tax records to estimate the intergenerational mobility of people born between 1978 and 1982.

Among the results to come from these studies are estimates of the degree to which a 10% increase in fathers' earnings affect their sons' earnings. The studies offer a range of 1% to 3.5% – with a higher percentage meaning less social mobility.

Study - Gender - Variations - % - Increase

One study highlights some interesting gender variations. It found a 10% increase in a father's earnings associated with a 2% increase in sons' earnings, but only a 0.8% increase in daughters' earnings. A 10% increase in mothers' earnings was linked to a 1.6% increase in sons' earnings and a 1.5% increase in daughters' earnings. This suggests girls' earning trajectories are slightly less determined by their parents' experience.

Other findings, however, point to certain types of disadvantage being most inherited by women. For example, those raised by a single parent receiving parenting payments are 2.2 times more likely to become a single-parent payment recipient themselves—and women make up more than 80%...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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