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Asset Poverty in Canadian Families with Children A presentation of thesis results Anne Blumenthal.

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Presentation on theme: "Asset Poverty in Canadian Families with Children A presentation of thesis results Anne Blumenthal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Asset Poverty in Canadian Families with Children A presentation of thesis results Anne Blumenthal

2 Outline 1.Why should social work measure poverty? 2.Assets & children 3.Research Questions 4.Results 5.Discussion 1

3 Why should social workers be concerned with the measurement of child poverty? 2

4 1. Child poverty is associated with lifelong negative consequences Including: – Biological – Psychological – Social – Economic 3 (Bradbury, Corak, Waldfogel, & Washbrook, 2012; Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997; Heckman & Masterov, 2007; Heckman, Moon, Pinto, Savelyev, & Yavitz, 2010; Heckman, 2012; Hill & Duncan, 1987; Magnuson & Votruba-Drzal, 2009)

5 2. Child poverty is a social injustice Social workers are mandated to pursue social justice (CASW, 2005) If social work promotes interventions that maximize benefits to the most disadvantaged members of society, then it must place particular emphasis on the welfare of children 4

6 3. Social work’s professional location Whether knowingly or unknowingly, social workers are, essentially, poverty experts 5

7 4. To achieve poverty reduction, we must identify the poor Measureable poverty reduction is important to sustaining positive social programs Social workers are largely absent from the poverty policy/poverty measurement conversation 6

8 Assets and Children Theory: – Income = short-term well-being – Assets = long-term well-being (Sherraden, 1991; Shanks, 2007) – Family stress model (Rothwell & Han, 2010b; Shanks et al., 2010; Shanks & Robinson, 2013) – Identity-based motivation (Destin & Oyserman, 2009; Oyserman, 2013) – Family investment model (Conger & Donnellan, 2007; Kaushal, Magnuson, & Waldfogel, 2011) 7

9 Assets and Children Influences – Children’s school focused goals – Math, reading, behaviour scores – Educational attainment Preliminary evidence that assets impact parenting and socio-emotional functioning 8 (Elliott & Beverly, 2011; Elliott & Nam, 2012; Elliott & Sherraden, 2013; Friedline, Elliott, & Chowa, 2013; Grinstein-Weiss et al., 2010; Haurin, Parcel, & Haurin, 2002; Huang et al., 2014; Huang, 2013; Kim & Sherraden, 2011; Shanks, 2007; Zhan & Sherraden, 2003)

10 Asset Poverty and Families Many families have no assets Scant information on child asset poverty in general – Very limited information in Canada 9 (Chawla, 2004, 2008; Robson, 2013)

11 Asset Poverty in American Families (Arartani & Chau, 2010)

12 Research Questions Prevalence Provincial variation Predictors 11

13 What is the prevalence of asset poverty for families with children compared to those without children using different poverty thresholds? 12

14 Measurement Questions Asset Poverty based on LIM Asset Poverty based on LICO 13

15 Asset Poverty Thresholds LIM threshold for income $29,208 for family of 2 adults & 2 kids Asset poverty LIM threshold = $7,302 Asset poverty LICO threshold = $8,139 14

16 Measures (1) Binary dependent variables: – Net worth LICO poverty (NW LICO) – Net worth LIM poverty (NW LIM) – Financial asset LICO poverty (FA LICO) – Financial asset LIM poverty (FA LIM) 15

17 Measures (2) Personal characteristics: – Age category (0/1/2/3/4) – Sex & marital status (0/1/2/3) – Education level (0/1/2/3) – Disability status (1/0) – Language (0/1) – Immigration (0/1) 16

18 Measures (3) Economic/regional: – Homeownership (0/1) – Province (0/1/2/3) – Rural (1/0) – Income (log) – Work full time (0/1) 17

19 Different Measures of Poverty for Families in Assets Income

20 Different Measures of Poverty for Families in

21 How do these prevalence estimates vary by province? 20

22 Income poverty by province 21

23 Financial asset poverty by province 22

24 Net worth poverty by province 23

25 What are the predictors of asset poverty for families with children versus those without children? 24

26 Odds of Being Asset Poor Previous research showed that certain family types and the number of kids were associated with higher odds of asset poverty Two separate models were run: one for children w/ families and one for families w/o children 25

27 Odds of Financial Asset (LICO) Poverty n = 2,924 26

28 Odds of Financial Asset (LICO) Poverty n = 2,924 27

29 Odds of Net Worth (LICO) Poverty n = 2,924 28

30 Odds of Net Worth (LICO) Poverty n = 2,924 29

31 n = 2, Odds of Income (LICO) Poverty

32 n = 2, Odds of Income (LICO) Poverty

33 Comparison of Predictors 32

34 Discussion Many families are financially insecure Provincial variation exists Predictors of asset poverty are different – For families with children – From income poverty 33

35 Limitations Limited information in the poverty measures used No casual inferences can be made Small sample size in 2005 Limited demographic information in the SFS Possible model misspecification – Uncontrolled variation = high likelihood of biased and inconsistent model results 34

36 Future Work Alternative measures of poverty 2012 Survey of Financial Security Heterogeneity in asset poor families Other statistical models to control for observed & unobserved variation 35

37 Conclusions It is important for social work to investigate concepts, measurements, causes, consequences, and interventions related to poverty The effect of financial insecurity on families may be negative in both the short- and long-term More work needs to explore how asset poor families differ from each other, as well as from non-asset poor families 36

38 References Aratani, Y., & Chau, M. (2010). Asset poverty and debt among families with children (Brief). New York, NY: National Center for Children in Poverty. Bradbury, B., Corak, M., Waldfogel, J., & Washbrook, E. (2012). Chapter Four: Inequalities in early childhood outcomes. In J. Ermisch, M. Jäntti, & T. M. Smeeding (Eds.), From parents to children: The intergenerational transmission of advantage (pp. 87–118). Russell Sage Foundation. Brooks-Gunn, J., & Duncan, G. J. (1997). The effects of poverty on children. The Future of Children, 55–71. Canadian Association of Social Workers. (2005). Code of ethics. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from Chawla, R. K. (2004). Wealth inequality by province. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 5(9). Retrieved from etudes/75-001/archive/2004/ eng.pdf Chawla, R. K. (2008). Changes in family wealth. Perspectives on Labour and Income, (June), 15–24. Conger, R. D., & Donnellan, M. B. (2007). An Interactionist Perspective on the Socioeconomic Context of Human Development. Annual Review of Psychology, 58(1), 175–199. doi: /annurev.psych Destin, M., & Oyserman, D. (2009). From Assets to School Outcomes How Finances Shape Children’s Perceived Possibilities and Intentions. Psychological Science, 20(4), 414–418. doi: /j x Elliott, W., & Beverly, S. G. (2011). The role of savings and wealth in reducing “wilt” between expectations and college attendance. Journal of Children and Poverty, 17(2), 165–185. doi: / Elliott, W., & Nam, I. (2012). Direct Effects of Assets and Savings on the College Progress of Black Young Adults. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 34(1), 89–108. doi: / Elliott, W., & Sherraden, M. (2013). Assets and educational achievement: Theory and evidence. Economics of Education Review, 33, 1–7. doi: /j.econedurev Friedline, T., Elliott, W., & Chowa, G. A. N. (2013). Testing an asset-building approach for young people: Early access to savings predicts later savings. Economics of Education Review, 33, 31–51. doi: /j.econedurev Grinstein-Weiss, M., Williams Shanks, T. R., Manturuk, K. R., Key, C. C., Paik, J.-G., & Greeson, J. K. P. (2010). Homeownership and parenting practices: Evidence from the community advantage panel. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(5), 774–782. doi: /j.childyouth Heckman, J. J. (2012, October). Lead essay: Promoting social mobility. Boston Review. Retrieved from Heckman, J. J., & Masterov, D. V. (2007). The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 29(3), 446–493. doi: /j x 37

39 References Heckman, J. J., Moon, S. H., Pinto, R., Savelyev, P., & Yavitz, A. (2010). A new cost-benefit and rate of return analysis for the Perry Preschool Program: a summary (Working Paper No ). Cambridge, MA: The National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from Hill, M. S., & Duncan, G. J. (1987). Parental family income and the socioeconomic attainment of children. Social Science Research, 16(1), 39–73. doi: / X(87) Huang, J. (2013). Intergenerational transmission of educational attainment: The role of household assets. Economics of Education Review, 33, 112–123. doi: /j.econedurev Huang, J., Sherraden, M., Kim, Y., & Clancy, M. (2014). Effects of child development accounts on early social-emotional development: An experimental test. JAMA Pediatrics. doi: /jamapediatrics Kaushal, N., Magnuson, K. A., & Waldfogel, J. (2011). How is family income related to investments in children’s eductaion? In G. J. Duncan & R. J. Murnane (Eds.), Whither opportunity?: rising inequality, schools, and children’s life chances (pp. 187–206). New York : Chicago: Russell Sage Foundation ; Spencer Foundation. Kim, Y., & Sherraden, M. (2011). Do parental assets matter for children’s educational attainment?: Evidence from mediation tests. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 969–979. doi: /j.childyouth Magnuson, K. A., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2009). Enduring influences of childhood poverty. In M. Cancian & S. Danziger (Eds.), Changing poverty, changing policies. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Robson, J. (2013). Does Canada have a hidden “wealthfare” system?: The policy history and household use of tax-preferred savings instruments in Canada. (PhD). Carleton University, Ottawa, ON. Rothwell, D. W., & Han, C.-K. (2010). Exploring the Relationship Between Assets and Family Stress Among Low-Income Families. Family Relations, 59(4), 396–407. Shanks, T. R. W. (2007). The impacts of household wealth on child development. Journal of Poverty, 11(2), 93–116. doi: /J134v11n02_05 Shanks, T. R. W., Kim, Y., Loke, V., & Destin, M. (2010). Assets and child well-being in developed countries. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(11), 1488–1496. doi: /j.childyouth Shanks, T. R. W., & Robinson, C. (2013). Assets, economic opportunity and toxic stress: A framework for understanding child and educational outcomes. Economics of Education Review, 33, 154–170. doi: /j.econedurev Sherraden, M. (1991). Assets and the poor: A new American welfare policy. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. Zhan, M., & Sherraden, M. (2003). Assets, expectations, and children’s educational achievement in female‐headed households. Social Service Review, 77(2), 191–


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