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assume that total household income (i.e., all social transfers and

BTST income from all members) is equally shared. Thus, the

composition of household members determines to a large extent

the total market income and social transfers a household may

receive. In addition, decomposition analysis assumes that the effect

of a change in one factor can be analyzed while all other factors are

held constant, when realistically, the other factors would also

change. For example, an increase in income inequality may prompt

people at the bottom of the income distribution to move in with

other family members. Alternately, an increase in social welfare

programs aimed at young adults may permit them to live

independently. Thus, both systematic changes and human agency

in dynamic societies mean that decomposition analysis can offer

only a partial picture of the determinants of poverty.

Nevertheless, this research makes important contributions to

our understanding of youth poverty in the following ways. This

study is the first to decompose the contributions of structural

factors to international variations in youth poverty. This study

estimates the roles of the market, families, and social provisions in

buffering poverty for young adults in different countries. For

example, the high poverty risk of young Scandinavian adults

because of their early independence and low BTST income is offset

by more generous social provisions; but in East Asia, the

prevalence of intergenerational coresidence compensates for

limited social provisions. These findings are essential empirical

evidence for policy makers to more adequately respond to the

economic predicaments that young adults encounter.

In addition, this research extends the scope of previous

comparative studies of youth poverty to include Japan, South

Korea, and Taiwan and maximizes the variations in poverty

patterns, welfare systems, and market income poverty. While most

international studies of youth poverty are focused on young adults

in the West, this study concentrates on Taiwan and shows precisely

where the financial support for young adults lies in varying social