The two-child policy and child poverty in the UK

Yekaterina Chzhen, Jonathan Richard Bradshaw

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The United Kingdom two-child policy was announced in 2016 and began to operate from April 2017. A mother claiming a range of means-tested benefits who had a third and subsequent child born after 1 April 2017 could not receive a child addition for them, while a new claimant with three or more children would now receive no more than a claimant with two children. Since the policy only came into effect in 2017, it is only now that we are developing a picture of its impact. Using data from nationally representative annual living conditions surveys, we find that larger families experienced substantial real income losses since the introduction of the two-child limit, while the incomes of smaller families remained largely unaffected. Income losses among larger families were driven primarily by changes in penalties to family characteristics, such as lone parent status , rather than the distribution of these characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Early online date23 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2024

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