Childhood-Related Policies and Adult Poverty: Evidence from Some European Countries

  • Marisa Hidalgo-HidalgoEmail author


Living in poverty may have long-run negative effects. The interaction between families and public policies is crucial as it affects a child’s opportunities. The aim of this paper is to check whether public policies implemented during individuals’ childhood have a long-run effect in the probability of being poor in adulthood, net of personal and family characteristics. We consider two specific childhood-related public spending programs capturing different mechanism through which public policies might affect poverty: in primary education and in family allowances. We find that an increase in public spending in education accounts for a sizeable reduction in the incidence of poverty in adulthood. On the contrary, expenditure on family allowances does not have any impact on adult poverty status.


Poverty rate Public expenditure in education Family allowances 

JEL Classification

I32 I38 H5 



I am grateful for important input from Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe. I wish to thank Pedro Albarrán, M. Dolores Collado, Laura Crespo, and Christophe Muller for comments on a previous version of this paper. I also thank participants at the 40 Simposio de Análisis Económico and the Seventh ECINEQ Meeting. Finally I would like to thank CREST Paris, where part of this research was carried out, for their hospitality. Financial support from Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (ECO2012-34928, ECO2014-57413 and ECO2017-83069-P) and Junta de Andalucía (SEJ-4941, SEJ-5980) is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 119 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Pablo de OlavideSevilleSpain

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