Recent research on poverty and deprivation

Boarded up houses in Kensington, Liverpool

by Alan Gillies

With over 300 current journal subscriptions, some weekly, some monthly, some quarterly, the Idox Information Service’s Research Officers review many journals and magazines every day, to identify the most useful and interesting articles for our members. Not all of our journals have relevant articles in every single issue, so a vital part of what we do involves separating the less relevant from the most useful, and highlighting the latter in our weekly bulletin or fortnightly topic updates.

Some issues might have one article of interest, some none, and often we get an issue with many interesting and relevant articles. The March 2014 issue of Urban Studies was a case in point. Rebecca Tunstall et al described a study into whether the reputation of deprived areas affects their residents’ chances of getting a job due to discrimination from employers. The study involved sending applications, by fictitious candidates from neighbourhoods with a ‘poor’ reputation and neighbourhoods with a ‘bland’ reputation, to real jobs. Contrary to what might have been expected, the study found no statistically significant difference in employer treatment of applicants from these areas, suggesting that people living in neighbourhoods with poor reputations do not face ‘postcode discrimination’ in the labour market.

Pamela Lenton and Paul Mosley from the University of Sheffield looked at the role of community development finance institutions (CDFIs) in providing finance to the financially excluded and whether it helped them to escape poverty. They found that a major factor in escaping poverty was a low income household’s ability to build savings, and that the factors which were most effective in helping households to increase their savings were money advice and membership of social organisations or social networks. They highlight Glasgow-based Scotcash, which integrates advice with its financial products, as the CDFI in their sample which had the greatest impact in lifting clients above the poverty line.

Other articles included one (highlighted in our bulletin of 27 February) looking at branding and organisational identity, based on a case study of the NewcastleGateshead partnership; and from the other side of the Atlantic, articles on the effectiveness of Chicago’s  tax increment financing (TIF) programme in creating economic opportunities and catalysing real estate investments at the neighbourhood scale (finding no evidence of increasing tangible economic development benefits for local residents), and on the travel and mobility of the increasing number of solo households.


 Articles referred to in this post (please note you must be a member to view them)

  • Deka, Devajyoti. The living, moving and travel behaviour of the growing American solo: implications for cities
  • Lenton, Pamela; Mosley, Paul. Financial exit routes from the ‘Poverty Trap’: a study of four UK cities
  • Tunstall, Rebecca et al. Does poor neighbourhood reputation create a neighbourhood effect on employment? The results of a field experiment in the UK
  • Lester, T William. Does Chicago’s tax increment financing (TIF) programme pass the ‘but-for’ test? Job creation and economic development impacts using time-series data
  • Pasquinelli, Cecilia. Branding as urban collective strategy-making: the formation of NewcastleGateshead’s organisational identity

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