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 12: Income support policies for the working poor

Sarah Marchal, Ive Marx and Gerlinde Verbist


This chapter provides an overview and discussion of the direct income support measures available to workers. Using model family simulations of the net income and income components of a single person and a lone-parent family, the authors assess the policy measures currently in place in the European Union (EU) member states and the United States to guarantee an income floor to working families: minimum wages, favourable tax and social insurance contribution conditions, and supportive benefits. They demonstrate that despite ample supportive direct income measures, net incomes at minimum wage are well below the EU at-risk-of-poverty threshold. Yet there has clearly been a tendency to implement direct income support measures that increase the net incomes of workers paid at or around the minimum wage. The authors discuss how direct income support measures, in particular personal income tax reliefs, social security reductions and different types of social benefits, can play a broader role in combating in-work poverty at large.

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