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Decomposing Youth Poverty in 22 Countries

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percentage points.

In social democratic countries, rates of youth poverty are 6 to

18 percentage points higher than in Taiwan. This is attributable to

much higher BTST income poverty and the lesser prevalence of

intergenerational coresidence in these countries. Although the

social transfers of social democratic countries reduce Taiwan’s

youth poverty percentage by 7 to 9 percentage points, living

arrangements and BTST income poverty add much more. Together,

these factors lead to very high percentages of youth poverty in

Scandinavian social democratic countries.

Compared to Taiwanese youth, young adults in some

conservative countries are generally more likely to fall below the

poverty line. Similar to the decomposition patterns revealed in

social democratic countries, higher poverty levels come from more

independent living arrangements and higher BTST income poverty

levels in conservative countries. In addition, conservative welfare

regimes are more effective than the Taiwanese welfare state in

reducing youth poverty. For example, adopting the living

arrangements and BTST income poverty levels of the Netherlands

would add 4 and 11 percentage points to the poverty of Taiwanese

young adults, respectively. By contrast, Dutch social provisions

would subtract 8 percentage points.

The poverty differences between post-socialist countries and

Taiwan are more modest, ranging from 0.93 to 3.77 percentage

points. As intergenerational coresidence is also common among

Eastern Europeans, the living arrangements do not contribute

much to differences in poverty. The difference in BTST income

poverty is still the most significant driver of the disparities in

poverty between post-socialist countries and Taiwan.

As expected, because intergenerational coresidence is also

common in Southern Europe, the differences in household

composition patterns do not contribute to the poverty disparity

between Spain and Taiwan. Spanish BTST income poverty would

add 12.49 percentage points of poverty to Taiwanese young adults

although the welfare systems would subtract 2.44 percentage