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Poverty Dynamics in Poland. Selected Quantitative Analyses


The transition process from a centralised to a market economy in Poland has been accompanied by an  unprecedented increase in poverty and a deepening of inequality across households – not only in terms of income but also in terms of socio-economic status.
Although a small number of studies describing the economic situation of the poor in Poland have been undertaken, our understanding of the mechanisms that make poverty persist in the household context is considerably limited. The interaction of a number of factors may for example, result in individuals being trapped in a vicious circle of poverty. Low household income may lead to social exclusion and family distress, which is likely to have far-reaching consequences for all household members. Social exclusion may contribute to foster alcoholism, impede the human capital investment in children, and thus jeopardise the socioeconomic situation of the next generation. Socially excluded people experience severe difficulties in finding re-employment. Social transfers might even worsen the situation by providing a disincentive to seek work.