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 5: Gender and in-work poverty

Sophie Ponthieux


The working poor are people who work and who live in poor households. But with poverty being assessed at household level, the same individual labor’s market outcomes may or may not result in poverty, depending on family configurations. Moreover, the household dimension of in-work poverty conceals unfavorable individual situations of activity. This results in a particular paradox: while women are highly over-represented in the low part of the earnings distribution, they are not, on average, particularly over-represented among the working poor. The chapter investigates the extent of this paradox in a selection of European Union countries and explores an alternative approach, in terms of ‘poverty in earned income’, to overcome the gender bias of the standard indicator.

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