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 2: The concept and measurement of in-work poverty

Henning Lohmann


With the growing body of research on the working poor, a broader discussion of concepts and measurement has evolved. In-work poverty is a hybrid concept which – in contrast to concepts such as low wage work – combines the labour market position of an individual with a poverty perspective focusing on the living standard at the household level. Defining and measuring in-work poverty requires answers to two questions: ‘Who is a worker?’ and ‘What is poverty?’. The chapter discusses both and provides an in-depth discussion of measurement approaches, in particular those developed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Eurostat and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Furthermore, it shows empirically how the incidence and structure (for example, by gender) of in-work poverty differ according to measurement approach.

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