Handbook on In-Work Poverty
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Handbook on In-Work Poverty

Edited by Henning Lohmann and Ive Marx

There has been a rapid global expansion of academic and policy attention focusing on in-work poverty, acknowledging that across the world a large number of the poor are ‘working poor’. Taking a global and multi-disciplinary perspective, this Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of current research at the intersection between work and poverty.
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Chapter 14: Activation and in-work poverty

Daniel Seikel and Dorothee Spannagel

Abstract

At present, in-work poverty is on the rise in many European countries. At the same time, there is a widely held political belief that employment is the best route out of poverty. Current social and labour market policies throughout Europe are characterised by a strong activation turn. National and European Union (EU)-level policy-makers focus predominantly on the promotion of active labour market policies. However, this approach does not pay attention to the circumstances of the employment the individuals have to take up. This observation serves as starting point for the chapter. It examines how active labour market policies are linked to in-work poverty. The authors analyse labour market policies in 18 European countries using the 2013 EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) data and the 2012 wave of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Active Labour Market Policies Database. Their findings show that active labour market polices with a stronger focus on demanding than on enabling strategies lead to higher in-work poverty rates.

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