Causes, Trade-offs and Policy Solutions
Chapter 6: What Works Where and for Whom? A Meta-analytical Approach
In Chapter 4, I have presented the main tools that can be used to combat working poverty and presented their potential employment and antipoverty effects. These effects must now be evaluated empirically. Since there is, for most effects assessed here, a large body of evidence available, the empirical contribution of this chapter consists in meta-analyses of systematically identified and retrieved studies published between 2000 and 2010 that provide empirical estimates of the antipoverty and employment effects of these policies. This meta-analytical approach consists of a weighted vote-counting procedure, coupled with a significance test. Moreover, as I am also interested in the way these policies operate in the ‘real world’ of social policy, findings are also broken down by welfare regime; in addition, a more qualitative and detailed examination of results is also provided. This paves the way for the next chapter, which assesses the overall impact of welfare regimes on the three working poverty mechanisms and, hence, on the size and composition of the population of low-income workers. The main policies that have been identified as potentially efficient antiworking poverty tools are the following: + + + + minimum wages, legally enforced or through collective bargaining; tax credits for workers; cash transfers towards families; the provision and cost of childcare services. Before meta-analysing each policy, it is necessary to precisely define how the evaluation of each policy will be carried out. 6.1 RESEARCH SYNTHESIS Attempts to synthesize empirical findings are not new. In the early 1900s, the British statistician Karl...
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