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Reconciling Work and Poverty ReductionHow Successful Are European Welfare States?$
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Bea Cantillon and Frank Vandenbroucke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926589

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926589.001.0001

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The Evolution of Poverty in the European Union

The Evolution of Poverty in the European Union

Concepts, Measurement, and Data

(p.60) 2 The Evolution of Poverty in the European Union
Reconciling Work and Poverty Reduction

Koen Decancq

Tim Goedemé

Karel Van den Bosch

Josefine Vanhille

Oxford University Press

In this chapter alternative choices in the definition and measurement of poverty are discussed thereby focusing on three central choices that have to be made. First, one has to select an appropriate metric of individual well-being. Such a metric can be one-dimensional or multidimensional. Next, a poverty line needs to be established under which individuals are identified as poor. Third, one has to choose how much weight is given to the distribution of well-being among the poorest. Based on data from EU-SILC between 2005 and 2009, it is shown that the selected metric of well-being and the choice for a county-specific or pan-European poverty line lead to considerable differences in empirical results. This finding highlights the need for a precise concept of poverty or careful sensitivity analysis in empirical work.

Keywords:   poverty, social indicators, well-being metric, pan-European poverty line, deprivation, social exclusion

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