TITLE

THE 2004 NEW ZEALAND LIVING STANDARDS SURVEY: WHAT DOES IT SIGNAL ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MULTIPLE DISADVANTAGE?

AUTHOR(S)
Jensen, John; Sathiyandra, Sathi; Matangi-Want, Morna
PUB. DATE
March 2007
SOURCE
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Mar2007, Issue 30, p110
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This paper provides the rationale for the Ministry of Social Development's living standards research programme by describing the distinctive features of the Economic Living Standards Index (ELSI), the measure of living standards that provides the basis for the research. The paper draws on data collected in the 2004 national living standards survey to examine living standard variation in the population and factors associated with variation. It demonstrates that while living standard is strongly associated with income, as would be expected, it is also strongly associated with a large number of other factors (assets, accommodation costs, ‘life shocks’, health problems, etc.). The non-income factors account for a substantial part of the living standards variation. These findings are then used to explore whether the notion of multiple disadvantage can make a fruitful contribution to understanding living standards variation, especially in relation to the issue of why some people with low incomes are in severe hardship while others have adequate or good living standards. The results of the analysis suggest than when hardship occurs it is not generally the result of a single factor, but commonly reflects the compounding effects of multiple disadvantages. The paper points to the desirability of exploring ways of expanding the policy framework to better recognise the extent to which various types of disadvantage, and particularly multiple disadvantage, can act independently of income to influence the degree of hardship. It also points to the expected long-term beneficial impact on living standards from social investment policies to improve human capital, home ownership and savings.
ACCESSION #
24978838

 

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