poverty trap

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Wikipedia.

poverty trap

the situation where a slight increase in earnings leads to an individual or

family being worse off overall as a consequence of losing entitlement to other benefits. People on low incomes may be eligible not only for social security support but may also make lower income tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions. A slight increase in their earnings may lead to the loss of their social security entitlement and put them in a position where they have to pay higher income tax and NI contributions; the slight increase in earnings may be considerably less than the extra amount they have to pay in NI and income tax contributions and their loss of social security support. The existence of a poverty trap is seen to be inevitable where there is a system of means-tested social security benefits. A similar situation exists where single mothers may be considered to be in a poverty trap in so far as a woman in a reasonably well-paid job may have that income jeopardized by the need to pay for childcare. By taking a part-time job or giving up paid work altogether she may be able to look after her child or children, but is likely to lose any occupational benefits, including a pension, as well as her career prospects.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
The other mechanism that maintains poverty traps is known as 'aspirations failure'.
Scant information, unreliable health service delivery and lack of trust are among those few things that do not allow people to come out of health-based poverty trap. While formulating population control policy it must be considered that it is not the availability of contraception that controls the fertility but social norms, discrimination against girls and economic considerations also play a key role.
Such individuals might take chances when a safe strategy is unlikely to break them out of a poverty trap and financial market failures preclude a more conventional investment-based strategy for accumulating capital and exiting poverty.
out of the poverty trap that afflicts more than a billion people worldwide.
A poverty trap is a vicious cycle where the decisions poor people make keep them poor.
Some Cornell researches are investigating whether the employment gap may be due, in part, to what they call the "poverty trap." Under current federal rules, people with disabilities must be essentially unemployed to receive government benefits, but the support they receive isn't enough to keep them out of poverty, they point out.
And it's shocking that so many people in this country are caught up in the fuel poverty trap.
Dear Editor, I read with some amusement Jonathan Walker's article - City 'not strong enough' to save region from the poverty trap - quoting the views of a London based academic.
The charity said the provision of education and computer literacy training in such countries enables students to escape the poverty trap.
It is credited with helping many Bangladeshis escape the poverty trap. "Poverty alleviation is peace" is Yunnus' watchword (Nat.
Sachs' basic premise is that much of the world that lives in extreme poverty--which includes much of subSaharan Africa--is caught in a "poverty trap," inhibited by factors such as chronic disease, geographic isolation and environmental factors such as persistent drought that keep them from getting a hold on the ladder of economic development and growth.

Full browser ?