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Subjective equivalence scale – cross-country and time differences

Malgorzata Kalbarczyk-Steclik (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
Rafal Mista (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
Leszek Morawski (Institute of Economic Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland) (Vistula University, Warsaw, Poland)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



The purpose of this paper is to calculate the subjective equivalence scale and poverty rates for Poland and compare them to equivalence scales in Eastern and Western Europe.


The analysis is based on European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions data for 2005-2012. In particular, the authors capture the minimum needs income question and, knowing the minimum needs income of each individual’s observation, apply OLS regression controlling for income and household structure to estimate the poverty threshold, equivalence scales and poverty.


The subjective equivalence scales for the Euro Zone are constant for the period 2004-2012 and less stable for the CEE countries. The child cost in relation to the cost brought by an additional adult is higher in the CEE countries than in the Euro Zone countries. The subjective poverty rates are lower than the OECD rates. The only exceptions are Latvia, Estonia and Bulgaria.


The authors extend the analysis made by Bishop et al. (2014) by adding data for the years after 2007 and countries outside the Euro Zone.



Financial support from the Polish National Science Centre (NCN) under project grant number DEC-2013/09/B/HS4/01923 is gratefully acknowledged. This paper is based on data from Eurostat, project “Subjective and regulatory equivalence scales 2014-2016”.


Kalbarczyk-Steclik, M., Mista, R. and Morawski, L. (2017), "Subjective equivalence scale – cross-country and time differences", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 44 No. 8, pp. 1092-1105.



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