The Working Poor in Europe
Show Less

The Working Poor in Europe

Employment, Poverty and Globalization

Edited by Hans-Jürgen Andreß and Henning Lohmann

For a long time in-work poverty was not associated with European welfare states. Recently, the topic has gained relevance as welfare state retrenchment and international competition in globalized economies has put increasing pressures on individuals and families. This book provides explanations as to why in-work poverty is high in certain countries and low in others.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details

Chapter 1: The Different Faces of In-Work Poverty Across Welfare State Regimes

Henning Lohmann and Ive Marx

Extract

1. The different faces of in-work poverty across welfare state regimes Henning Lohmann and Ive Marx INTRODUCTION The notion of in-work poverty often conjures up stereotypical images of poorly paid service sector workers toiling away in fast-food chains (see, for example, Shipler, 2005). This perception is not altogether wrong. But it is a reductive and, in fact, rather Anglo-Saxon one. Moreover, the overlap between low-paid employment (in services or elsewhere) and financial poverty tends to be very weak, even in the Anglo-Saxon countries (see, for example, Gardiner and Millar, 2006; Nolan, 1994; Nolan and Marx, 2000). But more importantly, it does not capture the whole nature of the phenomenon – certainly not in Northern, Continental and Southern Europe. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the fact that ‘poverty in work’ comes in many different guises across advanced welfare states. A starting point for this task is the notion that in-work poverty cannot be explained solely from a perspective which focuses on low wages or earnings inequalities. This perspective is most useful when the wage of a single earner is the sole income source for a household. The more other sources contribute to the household income, the less one would expect to see a direct link between low-wage work and the working poor. We argue that this is the case – to a differing degree – in European welfare states. Therefore, we will discuss how differences in welfare state regimes – understood as ‘the combined, interdependent way in which...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.