The Working Poor in Europe

The Working Poor in Europe

Employment, Poverty and Globalization

Edited by Hans-Jürgen Andreß and Henning Lohmann

For a long time in-work poverty was not associated with European welfare states. Recently, the topic has gained relevance as welfare state retrenchment and international competition in globalized economies has put increasing pressures on individuals and families. This book provides explanations as to why in-work poverty is high in certain countries and low in others.

Chapter 12: Explaining In-Work Poverty Within and Across Countries

Henning Lohmann and Hans-Jürgen Andreß

Subjects: development studies, development studies, economics and finance, labour economics, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, labour policy

Extract

Henning Lohmann and Hans-Jürgen Andreß We started our research with the assumption that the incidence and sociodemographic profile of the working poor in Western Europe cannot be analysed without a thorough understanding of each country’s institutional context. In this final chapter, we discuss the most important empirical findings with respect to this institutional explanation. Starting with a summary of the main institutional features of the countries represented in this study, we attempt to draw some general conclusions about the level and structure of in-work poverty as it is typically found in different institutional settings. Finally, we discuss the development of in-work poverty over time and its implications for employment growth. The methodological design of this study consisted of a series of indepth case studies focusing on single countries, which were then complemented by two comparative analyses focusing on many European countries. Each case study presented information on the country’s institutional context and used nationally representative micro data to describe patterns of in-work poverty within that country. The comparative analyses, on the other hand, focused on overall determinants of in-work poverty and used cross-nationally equivalent micro data to describe different institutional contexts in statistical terms and to test the effects of individual and societal characteristics on in-work poverty. In conducting these analyses, we tried to combine the advantages of in-depth qualitative information on the institutional context in each country with the comparative quantitative information from a large cross-nationally equivalent database. The following discussion starts with the...

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