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Child at Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion: Comparative View Between Spain and Portugal in the European Context

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The consequences of poverty have been shown in many studies. Growing up in poor families supposes higher social exclusion risk, the effects of which persist over time and suppose adulthood disadvantages, including but not limited to a higher risk of poverty in adult life. The main goals of the study are to establish which elements affect child poverty in Spain and Portugal and to check AROPE indicators (At Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion) for accuracy and adequacy in comparing European poverty. The study was carried out through AROPE comparative secondary data analysis, a multidimensional poverty measure that allows comparison among European countries in the aftermath of the economic crisis (2005–2013). Principal data were taken from Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC, EUROSTAT) and European System of integrated Social Protection Statistics (ESSPROS, EUROSTAT). On one side, AROPE and components (poverty rate, severe material deprivation and households with very low work intensity) are analysed in two populations (younger than 16 years old and dependent children households) in Portugal and in Spain to identify differences. On the other, convergences and divergences between the two countries are analysed, finding different child poverty conditional factors as well as different impacts. In Spain, the main predictor is unemployment, while in Portugal, it is the level of poverty in the population. Additionally, we show that the investment and efficacy of social protection polices, through expenditure and social transfers, have a deep impact upon child poverty rate reduction across Europe. Potential mismatches in country comparison subsequent to AROPE construction components are also discussed. Our analysis finds that income structure variation has a bigger influence on AROPE than generalized structural poverty.

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    Work intensity, as defined in Eurostat (Europe 2020 strategy), is broken down into five levels expressing dedication to work from 0.85 to 1, which means high labour intensity, to 0–0.2 which means the absence of labour or a very low intensity.


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Correspondence to Eduardo Díaz Herráiz.

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An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11205-016-1474-3.

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Herranz Aguayo, I., Díaz Herráiz, E., Montenegro Marques, E. et al. Child at Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion: Comparative View Between Spain and Portugal in the European Context. Soc Indic Res 129, 961–978 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-015-1119-y

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  • Child poverty
  • Risk of poverty
  • Social exclusion
  • Family and children social protection policies
  • Poverty measure