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Vol. 47, No. 3


September 2017





Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

Decomposing Youth Poverty in 22 Countries

Contributions of Household Composition,

Social Welfare, and the Market to

Cross-national Variations in Youth Poverty


Tsui-o Tai

Department of Sociology, National Taipei University

No. 151, University Rd., San Shia District, New Taipei City 23741, Taiwan




Based on 2010 Luxembourg Income Study data, this

research examines cross-national patterns of rates of youth

poverty, using Taiwan as a representative of East Asian

welfare regimes and comparing it to 21 countries. With

decomposition analyses, I investigate the ways in which

three structural factors

household composition, market

income poverty, and social welfare

contribute to divergent

patterns of youth poverty. Taiwan is a society in which

intergenerational coresidence is prevalent but in which

young adults and young parents are eligible for limited social

provisions. The results show that in Scandinavian countries,

leaving the parental home is associated with high levels of

poverty, although generous social provisions offset some of

Received September 29, 2016; accepted June 21, 2017; last revised June 8, 2017

Proofreaders: Liang-Wei Huang, Min-Fang Tsai, Tsai-Ying Lu


This research is supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and

Technology (MOST 105-2410-H-305-002-MY2). I am grateful to the three

anonymous referees, Professor Yi-Fu Chen and the research group of National

Taipei University for their useful suggestions.