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Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe

Matt Barnes, Christopher Heady, Sue Middleton, Jane Millar, Fotis Papadopoulos, Graham Room and Panos Tsakloglou

There are estimated to be almost 60 million people living in poverty throughout the European Union. This bleak statistic underlines the value of this important book which explores the nature and extent of poverty and social exclusion in six European countries, namely: Austria, Germany, Greece, Norway, Portugal and the UK. The book focuses on four ‘life course’ groups who might be considered particularly at risk: young adults, lone parents, the sick and disabled, and the retired.
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Chapter 2: Poverty, Material Deprivation and Multi-dimensional Disadvantage During Four Life Stages: Evidence from the ECHP

Panos Tsakloglou and Fotis Papadopoulos


Panos Tsakloglou and Fotis Papadopoulos INTRODUCTION The aim of this chapter is to examine the living standards of the four population groups (‘risk groups’, in the terminology used in this chapter’s tables and graphs) that are the focus of this book, in comparison with the living standards of the entire population. These groups are: retired persons (Retired), sick or disabled persons (Sick), young adults (Young adults) and lone parents (Lone parents) as defined in Chapter 1. For this purpose, detailed analysis was undertaken of their average incomes, levels of poverty, housing amenities, ability to afford particular durable goods and necessities of life, as well as the impact of public transfers. The analysis of the living standards of specific sub-groups within these groups is presented in subsequent chapters. Unlike the interpretations of the term ‘social exclusion’ provided by various social scientists, as outlined in Chapter 1, in the jargon of most policy makers in the EU social exclusion is used interchangeably in order to denote ‘acute poverty and multiple deprivation’ or ‘exclusion from the labour market’. The analysis described here aims to identify aspects of the risk of social exclusion that are closer to the first of these interpretations. The data used for the analysis come from the second wave of the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) that was described in Chapter 1. It can be argued that although the ECHP is much better suited for the analysis of the phenomenon of social exclusion than most other existing...

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