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Inherited poverty: intergenerational persistence of poverty in the European Union

12nd National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Public economics

Senior Researcher : María Ángeles Davia Rodríguez

Research Centre or Institution : Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. Albacete.


This project aims to quantify and contribute to understanding the phenomenon of the intergenerational transmission of poverty in Spain and the European Union. For this, an empirical analysis will be developed in a number of phases based on the EU-SILC (European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions), which, in 2005 and 2011, developed two specific modules for the analysis of the intergenerational transmission of poverty, with questions about the socio-economic situation of the family of origin, which make it possible to detect persistence in certain deficiencies (educational and material) across successive generations. This project has four main objectives: (1) To quantify the incidence and intensity of the intergenerational transmission of poverty in Spain and in the countries of the EU-27; (2) To determine to what extent there is a causal relationship between the economic difficulties of one generation and those of the next generation, or whether, on the contrary, those difficulties are mediated by personal circumstances and transmission channels (such as the level of education achieved by the second generation); (3) To identify, from personal and family characteristics, the groups which are most vulnerable to the intergenerational transmission of poverty; and (4) To compare the influence of macroeconomic, institutional and social policy factors on the incidence and intensity of intergenerational transmission in Europe which may explain differences in the incidence of this phenomenon in different European countries.

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