In evaluating standards of living, we often rely on household measures: household income or, sometimes, household deprivation. But of course households are made up of individuals and they do not always benefit equally from the resources of the household. In this paper, we explore whether measures of personal deprivation can illuminate the distribution of resources within households across European countries, with a particular focus on households that contain more than one family. We use the 2014 material deprivation module of the EU Statistics on Incomes and Living Conditions, which in addition to the 9 standard household deprivation items, contains questions addressed to individual adult members of households about a further 7 personal deprivation (PD) items. We show that there is variation in PD within households, especially among multi-family households, and that the rates and nature of the risk varies considerably across countries. The risk of PD is higher for women, people in late middle age, lone parents in single or multi-family hh, singles without children in single or multi-family households (especially the elderly), and for individuals with a low individual income share in the household. We compute a combined household and personal deprivation measure using a Multidimensional Poverty Index approach, and examine who is missed by the standard measures which rely on household deprivation alone. Despite limitations, we argue that PD has the potential to provide an important complement to other sources of information about standards of living, because it capture some variation in the benefit obtained from household resources by different members, and this is particularly significant for the one-third of the population across Europe who live in households containing more than one family.
The colloquium will be followed by 'Barnett House Thursday' - coffee and conversation in the Common Room.