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Jeroen Horemans

Both part-time and temporary employment have been shown to be associated with high poverty rates across Europe. Yet, theoretical arguments as to why this is the case remain scarce. Given the multifaceted nature of in-work poverty, the main aim of this chapter is to unravel the different mechanisms that either cause or potentially limit the poverty risk of both groups of atypical workers. The results indicate that both groups are unable to secure a decent income to maintain themselves; not to mention their inability to sustain a family. However, their poverty risk remains remarkably limited when all income sources are taken into account. The authors find that temporary and part-time workers tend to be protected against poverty differently. Government transfers are particularly important for temporary workers, as they partially compensate periods out of work. Part-timers are more likely to rely on the earnings of other household members to avoid poverty, but with important differences across countries.

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Wim Van Lancker and Jeroen Horemans

In the literature on in-work poverty (IWP), childcare services are often assumed to be an effective policy instrument in reducing the number of working poor. However, this assumption has never been properly put to the test. This chapter provides, for the first time, empirical evidence on the role of childcare services in combating in-work poverty. First, it gives a conceptual overview of the pathways through which childcare service use is expected to reduce in-work poverty. Second, a comprehensive overview of the literature on the employment effects of childcare use is provided. Third, drawing on the 2012 wave of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), the link between using formal childcare and IWP is examined at both the micro and the macro level. The results provide evidence for an aggregation paradox: there is no link between the level of formal childcare use and the IWP rate at the country level, while using childcare at the household level is related to a lower risk of being working poor. This can be explained by the fact that families using formal care are also families with higher levels of work intensity. Finally, the authors argue that the type of care matters, as they find that informal care arrangements are related to higher levels of IWP.