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  Tammy Schirle
Associate Professor, Department of Economics
Wilfrid Laurier University



  "Senior Poverty in Canada: A Decomposition Analysis"
Canadian Public Policy , Vol.39(4), 517-540.

This project has benefitted from funding by HRSDC and the CLSRN Challenges for Canada's Retirement Income System research program.




Using 1977-1979, 1994-1996, and 2006-2008 data from the SCF and SLID, I conduct a decomposition analysis of senior poverty rates to determine whether changes in seniors’ characteristics can help explain historical changes in senior poverty rates.  I find that increases in the educational attainment of seniors significantly reduced senior poverty, but can only explain a small portion of the reduction in poverty rates between 1977-1979 and 1994-1996.  I find that reductions in the extent to which age and independent living place seniors at risk of poverty significantly and substantially reduced senior poverty rates.  Overall, the results support the assertion that retirement income policy is an important determinant of senior poverty in Canada.

Link to CPP publication

CLSRN Working Paper No. 118, April 2013 
 *** Note there are sampling (and other) differences between the CLSRN Working Paper and the Canadian Public Policy final version.

A larger, related report "Incidence of Low Income  Among Seniors in Canada" was prepared for HRSDC in November 2012.

  Last Updated: January 2014