Comparing inequality in the well-being of children in economically advanced countries: a methodology

Candace Currie, Dorothy Currie, Leonardo Menchini, Dominic Richardson, Chris Roberts

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

Summary: Socio-economic research on child well-being and the debate around child indicators has evolved quite rapidly in recent decades. An important contribution to this trend is represented by international comparative research based on multi-dimensional child well-being frameworks: most of this research is based on the comparison of average levels of well-being across countries. This paper tries to respond to the complex challenge of going beyond an approach based on averages and proposes a complementary approach to compare inequality in child well-being in economically advanced countries. In particular, it focuses on the disparities at the bottom-end of the child well-being distribution, by comparing the situation of the „median¿ child and the situation of the children at the bottom of the well-being scale for nine indicators of material conditions, education and health. Application of the proposed inequality measures to the data of a group of 24 economically advanced countries, shows that there is a consistent group of countries (in particular European Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Switzerland) which are successful in limiting the levels of bottom-end inequality below the OECD average, while in some countries (in particular Greece, Italy and the United States) children are at a higher risk of being left behind and excluded from the living standards which are normally enjoyed by the majority of their peers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFlorence, Italy
PublisherUNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
Number of pages53
VolumeIWP-2010-19
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

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child well-being
well-being
methodology
economic research
living standard
comparative research
Switzerland
OECD
Greece
Italy
Netherlands
trend
health
education
Group

Keywords

  • child well-being
  • inequality
  • social exclusion
  • education
  • OECD countries
  • health
  • housing
  • industrialized countries
  • social conditions

Cite this

Currie, C., Currie, D., Menchini, L., Richardson, D., & Roberts, C. (2011). Comparing inequality in the well-being of children in economically advanced countries: a methodology. Florence, Italy: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
Currie, Candace ; Currie, Dorothy ; Menchini, Leonardo ; Richardson, Dominic ; Roberts, Chris. / Comparing inequality in the well-being of children in economically advanced countries: a methodology. Florence, Italy : UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2011. 53 p.
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note = "This paper presents the methodology and the background statistical work for the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 9, “The Children Left Behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world's richest countries”. UNICEF Innocenti Working Papers are intended to disseminate initial research contributions within or relevant to the Centre¿s programme of work, addressing social, economic and other aspects of the realisation of the human rights of children",
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Currie, C, Currie, D, Menchini, L, Richardson, D & Roberts, C 2011, Comparing inequality in the well-being of children in economically advanced countries: a methodology. vol. IWP-2010-19, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy.

Comparing inequality in the well-being of children in economically advanced countries: a methodology. / Currie, Candace; Currie, Dorothy; Menchini, Leonardo; Richardson, Dominic; Roberts, Chris.

Florence, Italy : UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2011. 53 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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N1 - This paper presents the methodology and the background statistical work for the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 9, “The Children Left Behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world's richest countries”. UNICEF Innocenti Working Papers are intended to disseminate initial research contributions within or relevant to the Centre¿s programme of work, addressing social, economic and other aspects of the realisation of the human rights of children

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N2 - Summary: Socio-economic research on child well-being and the debate around child indicators has evolved quite rapidly in recent decades. An important contribution to this trend is represented by international comparative research based on multi-dimensional child well-being frameworks: most of this research is based on the comparison of average levels of well-being across countries. This paper tries to respond to the complex challenge of going beyond an approach based on averages and proposes a complementary approach to compare inequality in child well-being in economically advanced countries. In particular, it focuses on the disparities at the bottom-end of the child well-being distribution, by comparing the situation of the „median¿ child and the situation of the children at the bottom of the well-being scale for nine indicators of material conditions, education and health. Application of the proposed inequality measures to the data of a group of 24 economically advanced countries, shows that there is a consistent group of countries (in particular European Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Switzerland) which are successful in limiting the levels of bottom-end inequality below the OECD average, while in some countries (in particular Greece, Italy and the United States) children are at a higher risk of being left behind and excluded from the living standards which are normally enjoyed by the majority of their peers.

AB - Summary: Socio-economic research on child well-being and the debate around child indicators has evolved quite rapidly in recent decades. An important contribution to this trend is represented by international comparative research based on multi-dimensional child well-being frameworks: most of this research is based on the comparison of average levels of well-being across countries. This paper tries to respond to the complex challenge of going beyond an approach based on averages and proposes a complementary approach to compare inequality in child well-being in economically advanced countries. In particular, it focuses on the disparities at the bottom-end of the child well-being distribution, by comparing the situation of the „median¿ child and the situation of the children at the bottom of the well-being scale for nine indicators of material conditions, education and health. Application of the proposed inequality measures to the data of a group of 24 economically advanced countries, shows that there is a consistent group of countries (in particular European Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Switzerland) which are successful in limiting the levels of bottom-end inequality below the OECD average, while in some countries (in particular Greece, Italy and the United States) children are at a higher risk of being left behind and excluded from the living standards which are normally enjoyed by the majority of their peers.

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Currie C, Currie D, Menchini L, Richardson D, Roberts C. Comparing inequality in the well-being of children in economically advanced countries: a methodology. Florence, Italy: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2011. 53 p.