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Poverty and social transfers in Croatia

Zoran Šućur, Law Faculty, Zagreb Croatia

Various aspects of poverty in Croatia are still insufficiently well researched. Not only is there no knowledge about how long Croatian citizens remain poor, but there are also some disagreements about the actual number of the poor and the choice of the national poverty line. Nor has there been any precise evaluation of the effects of the individual anti-poverty policy measures. The objective of this paper was to analyse the basic indicators of the scope and distribution of poverty, the risk groups and the structure of the population of the poor and to investigate the role of social transfers in the reduction of poverty. The paper consists of four parts and an introduction. In Part 1 there is an analysis of the trends in the numbers of the poor in Croatia at the beginning of the millennium and the profile of poverty. The second part deals with the policy for the reduction or elimination of poverty, while in Part 3 the author deals with the problem of selecting the official poverty line and the role of the minimum income in Croatia. Part 4 contains the conclusions. Using the official EU poverty line, a comparative analysis shows that the rates of relative poverty in Croatia do not deviate greatly from the EU mean, although Croatia does have a somewhat higher rate of poverty than most of the countries in the Union. Most at risk of falling below the poverty line are the elderly, the retired and the unemployed, single-person households, single-parent families and families with three or more children. The total system of social transfers is not less effective than the transfer systems of most of the countries of the EU. If we exclude old age and survivor pensions from the social transfers, in fact, Croatia has the most effective social transfers of any of the countries observed. However, on the other hand, the poverty rate reduction due to old age and survivor pensions is one of the lowest in the countries compared.

Keywords:  poverty, official poverty line, poverty rate reduction, anti-poverty policy, social transfers, pensions

Year:  2005   |   Volume:  29   |   Issue:  1   |   Pages:  17 - 38

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 March, 2005
I / 2005
EBSCO Publishing
ISSN 1846-887X
e-ISSN 1845-9757
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