“What the U.S. can Learn from Britain’s War on Poverty”

In 1999 Tony Blair pledged to end child poverty in the United Kingdom within 20 years.

There were three pillars to this pledge: (1) making work pay; (2) increasing income support to families with children whether or not parents are working; and (3) investing more in children.

Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University examines each of these pillars in a presentation to Cornell University earlier this year. She also discusses the results of these policies and the lessons for the United States.

Waldfogel’s one hour presentation is a summary of  the major messages in her book Britain’s War on Poverty published by the Russell Sage Foundation.

2 thoughts on ““What the U.S. can Learn from Britain’s War on Poverty”

  1. For me the most interesting aspects of Professor Waldfogel’s talk were the ones to do with how best to frame messages about the value of these measures to make them politically acceptable. Is there anyone who comes to mind that would be able to discuss the necessary framing for the Canadian context?

    Thanks for posting an interesting video.

    1. I agree that there is need for fresh thinking on framing these issues in a Canadian context, but there was a good deal of attention paid to this by several provincial governments about five years ago … particularly in Ontario but also in others. See for example http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/mon/22000/283408.pdf . You might also have interest in a paper that I wrote when I worked on these issues for UNICEF http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=1579 .

      Waldfogel also makes the point that the UK made progress because political leadership focused attention on the issue.

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