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Social Policy and the Dynamics of Early Childhood Poverty in Turkey

Dayıoğlu Tayfur, Meltem
Seker, Sirma Demir
This paper analyses the dynamics of child poverty in Turkey using a nationally representative four-year panel. The results show that 51.4% of 0-6-year-olds are touched by poverty over a four-year period, which is substantially higher than the cross-sectional head count ratio of 32.2%. Totally 30% of the poor children or 15.4% of the child population experience poverty for the entire observation window. Furthermore, nearly half experience severe material deprivation. Although we find substantial movements in and out of poverty, the exit rate is lower and the entry rate is higher than the rates reported for the total population and those reported in the literature for children in developed countries. The limited amount of social assistance available to children in Turkey means that children's welfare depends heavily on the labour market outcomes of their parents. Children who live in households headed by younger and less-educated persons without work or in precarious employment are more likely to be persistent poor and face persistent severe material deprivation.