Publication Date


Publication Details

Rodgers, JR, Siminski, P and Bishop, J, Changes in Poverty Rates During the Howard Era, Working Paper 08-11, Department of Economics, University of Wollongong, 2008.


This paper considers changes in poverty rates under the Howard government. We also make three methodological contributions. We consider the statistical significance of estimated changes in poverty. We propose a decomposition technique which reconciles trends in absolute and relative poverty. We also use ‘poverty profiles’, which clearly illustrate sensitivity to alternative poverty lines. Whilst we are constrained by the period of comparable data availability (1995-96 to 2002-03), we find statistically significant decreases in absolute poverty (overall and for children) and corresponding increases in relative poverty, which are statistically significant under the most commonly used poverty line: half of median income.