Employment, Poverty and Globalization
Edited by Hans-Jürgen Andreß and Henning Lohmann
Chapter 1: The Different Faces of In-Work Poverty Across Welfare State Regimes
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...
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