Chapter 34: Poor workers in advanced democracies: on the nature of in-work poverty and its relationship to labour market policies
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In recent years in-work poverty has become widely acknowledged as a pervasive problem in affluent democracies, and not merely one that is only found in the USA and other “‘liberal” market economies. However, profound misunderstandings persist as to the nature and causes of this phenomenon and, therefore, also the most appropriate policy responses. This chapter explores the nature and extent of in-work poverty and its relationship to labour market trends and labour market policies. It emphasizes evidence on the contingent relationship between low pay and working poverty and the importance of aggregate labour market performance, second earnership in particular. The implications for the various policy levers through which governments can tackle in-work poverty are discussed.

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