Developing deprivation questions for the Family Resources SurveyAuthors: Stephen McKay, Sharon Collard
Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions
Published by: Department for Work and Pensions
Publication date: December 2003
Report number: DWP Working Paper Number 13
Direct measures of living standards, and more narrowly of deprivation, are correlated with income, but with a large degree of mismatch. Families living on low incomes often have quite diverse levels of deprivation. For this and other reasons, researchers have sought to supplement low income as a measure of need – or replace it entirely – with different types of questions that are designed to capture deprivation more directly. These have included questions about lacking particular items through being unable to afford them, self-rated standard of living questions, savings, debt, and in other areas such as housing.
The purpose of this study was to identify a set of questions that measure material deprivation and validate data on low incomes. In order to do this, the research team:
- Carried out a review of the deprivation questions available in major surveys and past methods of selecting deprivation questions.
- Conducted secondary analysis of large-scale datasets that contain information on incomes and questions about deprivation. The main datasets that were analysed were those from the Poverty and Social Exclusion survey, the Families and Children Study (FACS) and the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS).
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