Fighting Working Poverty in Post-industrial Economies

Fighting Working Poverty in Post-industrial Economies

Causes, Trade-offs and Policy Solutions

Eric Crettaz

This thought-provoking book provides an in-depth analysis of the working poor phenomenon and its causes across welfare regimes, and identifies the most efficient policy mixes and best practices that could be utilized to resolve this problem.

Chapter 7: The Weight of Each Working Poverty Mechanism Across Welfare Regimes

Eric Crettaz

Subjects: social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, labour policy


After having assessed the employment and antipoverty effects of each social policy tool identified in the literature as a promising instrument in the fight against working poverty, with an analysis by welfare regime, it is fundamental to measure the overall impact of each welfare regime on working poverty. As indicated above, the social policy instruments analysed in the previous chapters interact with one another; moreover, they co-vary with a broad array of institutional arrangements and their impact depends on the sectoral and sociodemographic composition of the labour market. This chapter represents the second empirical contribution of this book. First, I provide figures pertaining to working poverty and employment performance in the four countries chosen to illustrate the welfare regimes used in this book (liberal, conservative corporatist, social-democratic and Southern European), and then carry out a ‘classical’ analysis of the working poor population in terms of risk groups, based on a relative poverty line and headcount ratio. Then, I re-assess my findings by using poverty indicators that account for the depth of poverty, namely the income gap and the poverty gap; finally, I check the robustness of my findings by using another poverty line derived from consumption levels by comparing the situation in three countries for which I have information on both household income and consumption expenditure, namely France, Italy and Switzerland. Second, I measure the relative weight of each working poverty mechanism, namely getting a low wage rate, having a low degree of labour force attachment and having high needs...

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