Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Graph of the Day

No words needed. From a just-released New Zealand Initiative report summary:

Of particular interest to me, given the report I wrote for Family First earlier in the year which suggested changing family structure is the major factor driving child poverty, the NZ Initiative report finds that around half of the big increase in inequality, that occurred between the mid eighties and mid nineties was due to changing family structure and households.

They referenced Treasury research which found:

 "...the main factors which contributed to the change in inequality were changes in family and household structure (primarily a pronounced drop in the fraction of two parent households and a rise in the fraction of sole parent households), and changes in the socio-demographic attributes of households "


Anonymous said...

You miss the big point: successful high growth counties have Gini indices in the range above 0.5, often 0.6 to 0.7.

NZs Gini coefficient is far too low - not too high!

Jim Rose said...

Lindsay, I clicked on your link to your report but it did not open. Is the link broken? Thanks

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Hi Jim, Try now. It should link to the NZ Initiative site and further links to report PDF.

Brendan McNeill said...

Who'd have thought that outdated construct 'the two parent family' had any bearing on poverty, inequality, or human flourishing?

SPC said...

The problem is dependence on two incomes to afford home ownership, WFF tax credits to the one income family now only secures them in rental property.

As you note a convergence of first DPB, then easier divorce and finally lack of jobs led to a lot of single mother households and thus increased poverty 80's-90's.

One problem now is when parents have two children and child care costs ends employment of one for a time. Thus political pressure to improve targeted support to this middle class group and more generally fund free ECE time (so employment when the second child is age 3 is possible).

The other problems are in the standard and availability of housing, and the fitness of people to be responsible parents.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

SPC, I can agree with some of your comment but there is a tendency for media to extrapolate Auckland problems to the rest of NZ. Houses are affordable if people go searching for them and arrange their work lives around them. Not an ideal scenario but maybe necessary. (The market-distorting Accommodation Supplement can even be used to pay a mortgage rather than rent and some take advantage of it.)

But it is a sad state of affairs to me that two parents have to work throughout the births and early years of their children to afford a mortgage.

State intervention in the social sphere eg subsidizing family breakdown, and economic sphere eg subsidizing landlords and employers has not delivered the kind of equality envisaged.

SPC said...

Job insecurity, and the oft necessary retraining for a new career development, add further problems to affording home ownership/mortgage repayments.

One alternative to assist in easier planning for families is less focus on WFF tax credits and the Accommodation Supplement, by giving the non working partner access to a universal income equal to the single rate dole. It might even assist in reducing the rate of partnership break-up.

Anonymous said...

As soon as it became legally possible for women to work outside the home, basic economics make it necessary - directly contributing to the housing "crisis", divorce, family breakdown etc.

Get rid of that, and get rid of welfare, and the problems go away