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  • Publication
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    An intergenerational perspective on the risk of poverty: integrating wealth to measure poverty
    Currently, the debate of national statistical offices and scholars working on poverty is on how to include wealth in the classical measure of income poverty. Holding the income-poverty threshold fixed, some studies show that wealth-corrected poverty rates of the elderly are much more affected than those of the rest of the population. In addition, the decline in poverty rates for the elderly is higher when the value of the household’s main residence is included than when only non-housing wealth is taken into account. However, as the main residence is difficult to sell to foster consumption, it remains questionable whether this component should be added in the measurement of the risk of poverty. Difficult choices that remain to be made in the creation of a composite measure of poverty based on income and wealth are not only which components and which poverty threshold should be used, but also which methodology to aggregate income and wealth and which equivalence scale to adjust for different household members should be applied. This contribution focuses specifically on this last issue of equivalence scales highlighting how this methodological choice changes the risk of poverty among the elderly. The analysis is run with CH-SILC 2015 and on its specific module on wealth. Results show how methodological choices change the risk of poverty for different age groups in a significant way.